Mayors take stand against Burnet County rock crusher permit

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY

Marble Falls Mayor John Packer (center) lent his support to protesters of a proposed Burnet County rock crushing operation Oct. 7. Courtesy photo

Marble Falls Mayor John Packer (center) lent his support to protesters of a proposed Burnet County rock crushing operation Oct. 7. Courtesy photo

COTTONWOOD SHORES — The mayors of Cottonwood Shores and Marble Falls have jumped into the fray against plans for a rock crushing facility just off the southwest corner of the intersection of U.S. 281 and Texas 71 in Burnet County.

Cottonwood Shores recently joined several other cities, including Granite Shoals, Horseshoe Bay, and Marble Falls in passing resolutions in opposition to Asphalt Inc.’s pending air quality permit.

The permit is pending approval by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The Cottonwood Shores City Council unanimously passed a resolution, citing concerns by the community about the rock crusher plans, during its regular meeting Oct. 5.

“It was strictly for the protection of our residents that the council voted that way,” Cottonwood Shores Mayor Donald Orr said. “I followed up with a letter, and I plan to attend the (upcoming) meeting.”

A public meeting by TCEQ is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, at Lakeside Pavilion, 307 Buena Vista in Marble Falls.

Orr believes the community has an interest in opposing the permit due to its location.

“If you look at the location of that facility. It is directly south-southwest of Cottonwood Shores. It’s approximately four miles,” he said. “Any particulate (dust) that is generated down there will go directly to Cottonwood. We’re in a direct line of the prevailing wind.”

Opponents of the rock crusher contend that such a facility poses air, water, and traffic issues.

Marble Falls Mayor John Packer also joined the fight by showing his support at protests on Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 at the entryway of the proposed rock crusher.

“About two-thirds of the property is in our ETJ (extra-territorial jurisdiction). The future land use for that land is single-family residential,” Packer said. “We need roof tops for that area to develop. Definitely, you would scare off residential developers with that type of operation.”

Due to the community outcry and support from local and state leadership, the public commenting period for the permit has been extended to Oct. 31.

Attempts to reach an Asphalt Inc. representative or the property owner were unsuccessful.

connie@thepicayune.com

7 Responses to “Mayors take stand against Burnet County rock crusher permit”

  1. steve says:

    So the mayor thinks we need rooftops for that area since the future land use maps show that’s what some city leaders and a handful of citizens wanted. Maybe the good mayor can find a way to get roof tops in all the other so called developments which have never finished or never started. Let’s see now we have the flatrock development, the Windcliff,falling waters, etc etc. Heck there are what 50 or more empty lots in LaVentana with utilities that still need homes on them.

  2. Monique says:

    As a 34 year resident in Cottonwood Shores, we HAVE NO BUSINESS saying anything. If this brings jobs to the area, why are you condemning. May Orr not your business.

    • Dave says:

      New jobs are great, but the issue here is the potential health hazard operations like these can create for both workers and area residents. Unlike it’s name implies, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is only concerned with air quality, and nothing else. And, while the TCEQ specifies air quality requirements, it does not do any testing to verify requirements are being met. It relies solely on the operator to do measurements, testing, and equipment and area maintenance, and to keep logs of such for TCEQ review if requested. Some say it’s like the fox guarding the hen house because of the TCEQ’s liberal permit approval process which the public really has no say about. If a permit application is technically correct, the TCEQ generally approves it without any concern for the overall environmental impact to the area of operations, i.e. noise, water, traffic, road maintenance, property values, etc. Factors that will affect the quality of life to existing residents and the new job holders.

      While you might not have yet experienced any health issues resulting from the existing aggregate plant operations in the area, the probability that you will increases with every new TCEQ permit approval. If you ever do start to suffer any health issues due to the increased aggregate operations, remember to keep quiet like you want everyone else to do right now, and hold your breath.

  3. Shawna says:

    This is going to be an environmental tragedy for the Marble Falls area! If your business depends upon tourism? You should be there protesting!! If you breathe and live within 20 miles of this mess you ought to be protesting this!

    • steve says:

      20 miles? You are aware that the plant on the north side of marble falls is roughly 5 miles from downtown marble falLs right? And the quarry on 71 towards spicewood is roughly 8 to 10 miles away. Huber mining is next door. Tourism is still strong even in light of those places.

  4. Joe H says:

    Bring in more jobs which brings in more people which need more rooftops mayor’s, duhhh!!

  5. Lee says:

    Oh yeah the two do exceptional jobs for their communities!!??? None of vs business but in m falls pocket. Should worry about his own.

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