STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
More than a month after floodwaters destroyed hundreds of Llano County homes, county commissioners awarded a debris removal contract Nov. 16 to Leander-based TFR Enterprises Inc.
The company’s winning bid of $55 per cubic-yard of debris was selected from out of four companies bidding for the contract.
During the meeting, county officials estimated the total cleanup cost could top $2 million.
“I bet it’s higher,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Sandoval said.
The contract passed by a 3-0 vote. Precinct 1 Commissioner Peter Jones was absent during the meeting, and Llano County Judge Mary Cunningham abstained from voting in the meeting.
The commissioners also took action on a $100,000 donation from the Lower Colorado River Authority they previously tabled.
Commissioners debated not accepting the donation during their regular meeting Nov. 13 but voted 2-1 to accept the donation on Nov. 16. Sandoval voted against the motion.
“I’m perfectly willing to make a motion that we don’t accept it,” he said during discussion on the item. “It’s an insult to us and a way for (the LCRA) to throw out their chump change and say, ‘Now you own (the debris removal responsibility).’”
The two commissions who voted to accept the donation — Precinct 2 Commissioner Linda Raschke and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry Don Moss — decided in the end that the donation would go further toward cleanup efforts than nothing at all.
“I think (the LCRA) are just making a gesture to be good neighbors,” said Cunningham toward the end of discussion on the agenda item. “I don’t think they were trying to get out of any responsibility they don’t have, but I don’t think by giving it back you’re going to make them take responsibility they don’t have either. You’re just going to shoot yourself in the foot and have $100,000 less to spend on our cleanup.”
Raschke then agreed.
“That is a concern for me,” she said.
Moss made a motion to accept the donation for flood-related cleanup.
Raschke seconded and amended the motion to add that the county send the LCRA a letter thanking it for the donation and saying the money will be used “for debris removal only.”