Public split on landfill opposition proclamation
By LPR Staff
Once again, the 130 Environmental Park project, which includes a municipal landfill, has come to the forefront of discussion for the Caldwell County Commissioners Court.
During a lengthy period of public commentary during Monday morning’s regular meeting, citizens appeared to split in their opini
ons of a proclamation that was presented to the Court, expressing wholesale opposition to the project. More than a dozen area residents spoke to the idea of the resolution, expressing a broad range of views about the controversial project.
“I support compatible growth, with existing Lockhart families and companies,” said Sandra Billingsley. “Do your own research with families that live next to their landfills.”
Billingsley and others encouraged the Commissioners to look at the bigger picture regarding the proposed project, including the possibility that the landfill could increase pollutants and traffic, and cause groundwater contamination.
They also applauded the Commissioners for considering the bold step of passing a resolution in opposition to the landfill, a move that could potentially negate any possibility of a host agreement with benefits to the community in the future.
“I’ve not once seen a proposed budget,” said Jessica Neyman. “We need some numbers, and we need to think bi-partisan and big picture. Please be friendly fair and firm in your resolutions.”
On the other hand, a contingent of local residents also expressed their support for the development project, and urged the Court to consider the ramifications of a resolution in opposition.
“We believe that this resolution will cripple the host agreement, or land the county in a position where the landfill would be built without any benefit,” said Hoppy Haden. “We urge you to at least remain neutral during the Contested Case Hearing process.”
Additionally, Oscar Fogle questioned the origin of the resolution presented by Commissioner Joe Roland, a question that deepened once the Commissioners took the action to table discussion of the resolution for two weeks, to allow Assistant District Attorney Jordan Powell the opportunity to review legal questions in regards to the resolutions.
“We both know you didn’t write that,” Fogle said. “And I question the intentions and interests of whoever it was that did.”
In the end, after discussion both in public and during an executive session, the Court opted to table the resolution in opposition of the landfill, and will bring the matter back to the table for discussion on Feb. 23.
In a related item, the Commissioners voted unanimously to offer one final extension to Green Group Holdings, LLC, for the preparation and review of their preliminary plat. The process has been extended in the past, at the request not only of the applicant, but of the county’s engineer, Tracy Bratton, who has been working with the Code Enforcement Department to complete the preliminary plat process.
The extension was granted, giving Green Group an extension until March 9, 2015, to complete the process, with all technical comments being due by Feb. 20, 2015. Granting the extension was Powell’s recommendation to the Court.
In brief news:
The Commissioners heard a report from Kasi Miles regarding the septic and subdivision fees and developments during the month of January. Miles reported issuing 10 septic permits, 19 residential construction permits, and two family land grants. She also noted she is more than $9,000 in excess of her budgeted collections for the year.
The Court voted to allow the expenditure of $557 for a paint job on a Crown Victoria patrol vehicle purchased by the Precinct 3 Constable’s Office in November.
The Caldwell County Commissioners’ Court routinely meets on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month in the second floor courtroom of the Caldwell County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the pubic and are webcast at www.co.caldwell.tx.us.