STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
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.