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Llano contracts with company to dredge river at no cost

The city of Llano has launched a dredging campaign on the Llano River to increase water storage capacity and eradicate water weeds such as milfoil in Town Lake, the community's sole water source. Courtesy photo


LLANO  — A large quarry and mining operation in the Highland Lakes has joined forces with the city of Llano to remove tons of sand and gravel from the Llano River at no cost to the city, officials said.

On April 24, Collier Materials signed a 10-year contract to launch a sand plant operation to extract lake bed materials from Town Lake and Robinson Park Lake, officials said.

Decades of buildup from materials washed down river has drastically depleted water storage capacity and cultivated damaging water weeds, prompting the city to seek a remedy.

The city had paid $50,000 to Chanas Aggregates to pull at least 40,000 tons of material from the river in a year-long contract, until securing the current deal with Collier Materials.

“That means instead of us having to spend about $50,000 per year for someone to get about 40,000 tons out of the lake, we’ll receive a minimum of at least 50,000 tons at no cost to the city at all, which will increase our water capacity back to what the lakes were originally permitted to,” Llano City Manager Brenton Lewis said.

Collier Materials, in business for more than 35 years, offers landscape materials and concrete sand to commercial and residential clients in Austin, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Houston, Lubbock, Midland and communities surrounding those cities.

The corporation operates mines in areas including the Tobeyville and Fairland communities in Burnet County.

Collier recently completed a sand plant operation just off FM 3404 on the Llano River in Kingsland, which shifted its attention to the city project.

“The timing was right. We ran out of material at the sand plant (in Kingsland) we have now, so we looked at it and decided to pursue it,” said company Vice President Kevin Collier. “The city is actually going to earn a royalty on this from us.”

Although the contract starts July 1, crews will begin work sooner as the Llano River remains temporarily lowered because of the project by the previous contractor.

“We’re going to get material out of there with the river down, but eventually, we’re going to move a dredging operation in there,” Collier said. “We’ll be able to mine the material in there with the lake up. The goal is not to have to lower the lake.”

Collier expects to haul much of their extracted materials to a newly established sand plant on the north side of the river on Texas 29.

“We’re excited about them coming into town because they are a major company,” Lewis said. “It looks like they will also be locating a sales location inside the city, which will benefit us on the sales tax side.”

Collier added that residents will see heavy equipment moving into the area soon.

“We’re going to open a full-scale plant there. We’ll definitely be moving some bigger equipment in there,” he said. “(The contract amount is) just the bare minimum. We’ll get a lot more tons than that. This could turn into a pretty big project, for sure.”

1 thought on “Llano contracts with company to dredge river at no cost

  1. What kind of crapshoot deal is Llano pulling here? That sand is worth tens of millions of dollars, why are you not charging Collier to mine a public waterway? They owe the State 30% of all profits from any material mined out of a public waterway, I hope llano isnt going to be on the hook for millions in unpaid dues to the state for giving away tens of millions in state property. Some back room dealing here.

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