Company: Dredging plant’s new site will result in quieter, cleaner operation

Sandy Creek

Collier Materials announced plans for a dredging operation on Lake LBJ in Kingsland. The company previously chose Sandy Creek (pictured) as the site of a new plant but met opposition from residents. Courtesy photo

Collier Materials has announced plans for a new Lake LBJ sand dredging operation and plant in Kingsland. Formerly, the mining company had sought to set up a sand refining plant near Sandy Creek but met opposition from residents.

The new plant, scheduled to be up and running in March or April of 2021, will refine dredged sand so it can be sold commercially or used in construction. The proposed plant will be at County Road 309 and RM 2900 near the Comanche Rancheria community with access to the Llano River. 

Locals had voiced concerns regarding a plant and dredging operation at the previously chosen Sandy Creek location and organized a group, Save Sandy Creek, to fight its implementation. Their complaints included fears of noise pollution, environmental damage, and traffic.

“There had been word he had withdrawn his permit, but until I heard it from him officially, I have always been hesitant to declare victory until the facts were in,” said Fermin Ortiz of Save Sandy Creek. “He was very gracious, and we appreciate him committing that he will no longer be trying to get into Sandy Creek.”

The new location will ultimately be an improvement over the Sandy Creek location, said Collier Materials Vice President Kevin Collier. The plant’s hours of operation will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, never holidays. 

It will move 100-120 truckloads of material per day. 

“We plan on pulling about 425 tons an hour out of the lake,” Collier said. “It’s got to go somewhere. We don’t have no choice there.”

Currently, no local options exist at which to offload the material. Millions of tons can be withdrawn by dredging — often to maintain waterways and shorelines — but it is hard to get rid of because it simply isn’t useful on its own. Dredged material has to be refined, cleaned, and processed to be a useful product.

“We’re even already in talks with another group that is interested in barging material from other parts of the lake to the new plant,” he said, attesting to the need for the plant.

The plant will produce concrete sand, golf course sand, and mortar sand from the fine particulate at its new location. The previous plan for Sandy Creek was similar in many ways but would have used louder, heavier machinery such as a crusher. The material at the Kingsland location has more “fines” and less coarse matter.

“Another big thing about this plant over the (Sandy Creek) plant is the crusher. This plant is not going to need a crusher,” Collier said. “There’s actual fines in this material. Here, there are so many fines that we’re going to have to pull the fines out.” 

Fewer trucks will be used, which will also lessen noise and dust, Collier said. Instead, the plant will transport material from the river using a series of conveyor belts rather than driving trucks into a creek. 

“The neighbors won’t even hear this operation going,” Collier said. “Long term, it’ll actually save us money to do this way. It’s a much more effective way of doing it. The main thing is it’s going to be a totally quiet operation. You can stand right beside (the motors) and not hear much.”

alex@thepicayune.com

6 thoughts on “Company: Dredging plant’s new site will result in quieter, cleaner operation

  1. First let me say that I fully understand the need to remove the sand from the Llano river arm of Lake LBJ in order to reduce the risk of future flooding. This article provides many generalities about the location of the proposed plant but not many specifics. I live on CR-309 close to the intersection with RM-2900 so am very concerned with the location of the plant and the 100 trucks/day that will be going down the road. Where exactly are they proposing to build the new plant and which direction on CR-309 will the trucks be going? Please provide more details so the area residents will be informed.

    1. It will be in the field directly next to Comanche Rancherias. The houses on the end of the neighborhood will have unobstructed views of the piles of sand and clouds of silica dust.

    2. Good questions, Mr. Schurman. And, how does Kingsland benefit from this plant? I don’t live in Kingsland; but, I do spend a lot of time there for work and recreation.

  2. My question is to Mr. Collier, can County Road 309 handle large trucks, 100 to 120 a day, per week, per month? I feel this will make it unsafe for residents traveling in that particular area.

    I live in Comanche Rancheras Neighborhood, we had our home built 2 years ago. Beautiful quiet neighborhood, absolutely love it. I am upset.

    I can’t help but feel this is all about the $$$MONEY$$ with no consideration of our neighborhood or preserving County Road 309.
    I had to travel County Road 309 after the flood wiped out the 2900 bridge. It is an absolutely beautiful and peaceful drive.
    This is such a shame.

  3. The County Commissioners meeting is this Monday July 13th. Please attend via zoom and have a voice in this!! You must fill in a “Public Participation Form” to be allowed to speak on this subject. Llano County of Llano passed a formal Resolution opposing the Sand Plant I Sandy Creek and so did the Ciry of Sunrise Beach due to the concern for the public’s safety, heath and welfare. It seems they should do the same on this Sand Plant proposed to Industrialize Lake LBJ.

  4. Let them find another area, where no residents will be effected by the sand, dust and noise pollution. With all due respect, can we have a little bit of common sense? Do not put the citizens of Kingsland’s health at risk. There is enough allergens in the atmosphere simply because of the type of natural setting surrounding Kingsland. Does mankind really have to add to the already existing allergy health issues? In addition, please put yourself in the Kingsland citizens’ shoes who have been trying to make something of the Kingsland area. Why would you want to punish these hard working citizens by putting in a dredging plant in Kingsland’s backyard? Would Horseshoe Bay allow this in their backyard? Would Highland Haven? Would Cottonwood Shores? How about Sunrise Beach? Why should Kingsland allow this in their backyard??? Thank you for reading my opinion. I currently live in Kingsland and I am appalled and even surprised that we are even discussing such an issue. The city fathers should allow this on the ballot for the citizens of Kingsland to vote on this matter! Once again, stop punishing Kingsland for trying to make something of their town!!! We have people who have worked hard at making the Lighthouse Country Club a success, investors and private citizens building news homes all over Kingsland, as well as new businesses being developed, and this is the thanks these people get? Who in their right minds are going to want to live in a town where there is a dredging plant? Let’s take a look at the big picture: 1) Boat Town; 2) Wakepoint; 3) Lighthouse Country Club; 4) new and beautiful homes being built; and a dredging plant??? Something just doesn’t seem right : ) I forgot to mention one more town; would Burnet allow this in their backyard?? Once again, then why should the citizens of Kingsland allow it in their backyard? Makes one wonder, what is going on folks?

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