STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
SUNRISE BEACH VILLAGE — Llano County commissioners are trying to sort through the details and potential impact of a planned rock crushing and possible dredging operation on Sandy Creek near Sunrise Beach Village, officials said.
Collier Materials has applied for an air quality permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for a mobile rock crusher.
“This is a new application, so it’s pretty limited,” said Llano County Pct. 1 Commissioner Peter Jones. “ The intent is to pull sand from Sandy Creek.”
The waterway is typically dry but does flow considerably during heavy rain and flooding.
On June 15, Llano County commissioners received notice from the state of the mining company’s intent to launch an operation on private property, just off Texas 71 and adjacent to the RR 2233 intersection in the Sunrise Beach Village area.
Upon inquiring with the property owner, Jones uncovered some preliminary details about the plans, which involve a “vertical sand crushing device.”
“Whatever is needed is finer than the (raw) sand,” Jones said. “It’s contained and washed.”
Jones is scheduled to make a presentation at the the Sunrise Beach City Council meeting at 2:30 p.m. June 21 at City Hall, 124 Sunrise Drive.
“What do we know? We don’t know much,” he said. “I should be a little more informed then.”
Kevin Collier, vice president of the mining company, said the company’s plans primarily involve “dredging” with potential benefits to the environment.
“The type of crusher that its going to be, there’s not going to be dust from it. It’s a ‘wet’ screening plant. ” Collier said. “The flood, when it comes in, it will create a pocket for the sand to settle into instead of going into Lake LBJ.”
Another Llano County commissioner has taken an interest in researching and informing the public on the permit application as well.
Llano County Pct. 3 Commissioner Michael Sandoval, who primarily represents the Kingsland area, has set aside a portion of his monthly town hall meeting for the topic.
The town hall meeting is 5:30-7:30 p.m. June 19 at the Kingsland Branch Library, 125 W. Polk St. in Kingsland.
“Sandy Creek dumps into the Llano River. They’ll be highly watched by TCEQ because of its closeness to the water,” Sandoval said. “There’s a vineyard and new homes (nearby).
“I’m sure they’re concerned about the air quality, people who are affected by air contaminant,” he added.
Both commissioners want to educate the public on the application process, including the upcoming July 17 deadline for public commenting and meeting requests.
“I’m going to introduce it for the people who are concerned about it,” Sandoval said.
Jones added he would also like to see questions answered about potential traffic and environmental issues.
“On the one hand, we have the benefits of clearing out the sand in the creek,” Jones said. “On the other side, you have issues of traffic, and I’d like to see (the air quality) questions confirmed.”