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Salvage yard possibility draws ire of some

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By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

The topic of a possible auto salvage yard near SH 183 had many speaking against it at Monday’s Commissioner’s Court at the Caldwell County Courthouse.

About eight people opposed the salvage yard while addressing the Commissioners, voicing concerns on everything from leaked chemicals to noise and light pollution.

A representative of the salvage yard dispelled many of the concerns., or at least attempted to do so.

Caldwell County resident Byron Fredrick told the court, “We need to take a very hard look at where we want our county to be. We do not want this facility or anything resembling it.”

Frank Sughrue said he hoped it would be on the agenda for the next Commissioner’s Court – April 28 at 9 a.m.

Sughrue said there had been talk of a 24-hour, seven-day per week operation of the salvage yard and said he did not think the amount of work there would warrant that amount of time.

“I recommend this be tabled and notify the people,” Sughrue said.

Others said the salvage yard would be unsightly for Lockhart, which has many tourists coming to town for the Barbecue Capital of Texas.

“Let’s make a wise decision,” said one man addressing the court. “All that drips is going into the ground, and all of the ground is in Caldwell County.”

Owners of a nearby RV Park said they were concerned about leakage, too.

Lockhart City Manager Steve Lewis, representing the City while addressing the Court, said Mayor Lew White hoped that a fence would be installed completely around the facility at the maximum height required by law.

Anna Ybarra added, “There has got to be a better way to bring economy to our county. “

Gary Johnson, representing the salvage yard, said he has been in the business since 1992 and this would be the 10th yard he’s work with.

“I understand the concerns, but we build a state-of-the-art facility, and we are environmentally friendly,” Johnson said, explaining how there are catch tanks in place to stop any fluid from getting to the soil.

Johnson also said that the salvage yard would operate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“I hope you will consider this,” Johnson said to commissioners. “It is a business that is needed in this area.”

Johnson added that the business would employee anywhere from 20 to 22 full-time employees.

In other business:”

Hector Rangel, Caldwell County’s director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, asked that the Burn Ban continue for at least two more weeks because the county was currently listed as critical. The burn ban would also prohibit the use of bottle rockets and the similar items, even during festivities on San Jacinto Day, April 21.

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