The Ranches of Blackbuck Ridge is located on CR 108 just south of the Lampasas County line. The subdivision is three years old. Courtesy photo
Members of The Ranches at Blackbuck Ridge Homeowners Association in the northern part of Burnet County returned yet again to the Commissioners Court seeking redress for the state of their roads. At the Tuesday, April 26, meeting, Precinct 1 Commissioner Jim Luther and county Development Director Herb Darling agreed to meet with a group of residents in the near future to go over an engineering study they paid to have done on the roads.
A road bond for $396,140.14 was withheld from developer Lone Star Land Partners from May to December 2021. The HOA renewed its request to continue withholding the bond until its study was complete. Commissioners released the bond on Dec. 7.
“County commissioners signed off on the roads as being built correctly,” resident Christine Lorence told DailyTrib.com after the April 26 meeting, where she spoke to commissioners during public comments. “We found there were many locations that the test data did not support the Texas Department of Transportation’s 247 standards, which the county has published in their guidelines.”
Item 247 in the TxDOT road standards is regarding construction of a flexible base for roads.
According to the engineer’s report, inferior materials were used as well as not used to standards. The report also questions the tests done by the county on the road structure.
“Building a road is like making a layer cake,” Lorence said. “You have a base, a sub-base, and then, in our case, two layers of tar and chip applied to those bases. The engineering documents show only one base layer that was applied.”
The roads are falling apart, she said, and subdivision residents have changed their ask of the commissioners, now that the bond was released.
“What we want now is a meeting, but we expect the county to build the roads to what they should be,” Lorence said. “I don’t know how you can repave it with the problems underneath.”
Luther said after the meeting that he and Darling would plan a meeting with the group soon.
“We believe those roads were built to county specs,” he said. “We’ll meet with them and see what they are asking for.”
IN OTHER BUSINESS
Burnet County got a glowing report on its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report from auditor Todd Pruitt of Pattillo, Brown, & Hill.
“I congratulate the commissioners for the clean results of this audit,” Pruitt said during his presentation Tuesday.
The report shows a healthy fund balance and a low debt service. Commissioners are expected to begin work on the 2022-23 budget sometime over the next month. The budget must be approved by the beginning of the next fiscal year this fall.