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Save Lake LBJ public meeting on dredging proposal June 15

Collier Materials notice to dredge

Two of four public notices posted by Collier Materials Inc. concerning dredging permit applications for Lake LBJ near the intersection of RM 2900 and CR 309 in Kingsland. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Save Lake LBJ wants to “separate fact from fiction” regarding two proposed dredging operations and two processing plants on the lake. A public meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 15, at the Kingsland Branch Library, 125 W. Polk St. 

Collier Materials Inc. has applied to the Lower Colorado River Authority for two permits to dredge Lake LBJ under the Highland Lakes Dredge and Fill Ordinance and two permits to set up sand and gravel processing plants under the Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance. All four have been deemed administratively complete by the LCRA and are in the technical review phase. The LCRA has asked Collier for clarifications and additional information on three of the applications, some of which is due by Monday, June 12. 

“We feel it is important for affected parties to be kept updated on what is happening,” said Barbara Schmidt, a Save Lake LBJ member and resident of Comanche Rancherias, which is near a proposed processing plant. “The hundreds of pages of documents in the applications posted online are confusing and misleading and have been condensed into a PowerPoint presentation to help make them easier to understand.”

It will be presented by Fermin Ortiz, a member of Texans for Responsible Aggregate Mining. A question-and-answer session will follow. 

“Everyone is invited,” said Schmidt, adding that invitations were sent to the liaisons for Texas state Sen. Pete Flores and Rep. Andrew Murr, local and state media, and individuals who signed up for email notifications on the Save Lake LBJ website.

Public comments for two processing plant applications closed in April. Of the 215 comments received, 198 opposed the permits and 17 were in favor, according to a public information request from Save Lake LBJ answered by the LCRA.

Opponents of the sand and gravel mining operations asked the LCRA to host a public meeting before making a final decision on the permit requests. Sen. Flores (R-Pleasanton) and Rep. Murr (R-Junction) have each echoed that request in writing. 

“If Collier provides all required information and the technical review is completed, LCRA will hold public meetings on the applications,” the authority said in emailed answers to questions from “No public meetings have been scheduled at this time because the applications are still undergoing technical review.”

Save Lake LBJ decided not to wait. 

“It is now apparent that any meeting with LCRA is not in the near future, as they wait for additional permits (from other agencies) to be issued before they make their decision,” Schmidt replied to emailed questions.

The need for additional permits from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas General Land Office is part of the process Save Lake LBJ wants to clarify at the meeting. The permit applications to the LCRA put together by Westward Environmental for Collier Materials indicate that additional permits from these two entities are not necessary. Representatives from both state agencies have publicly stated that permits are necessary

The public can still comment on the two dredging permit applications online and by mail. The public comment period will remain open until the LCRA has completed the review process.

1 thought on “Save Lake LBJ public meeting on dredging proposal June 15

  1. Apparently allowing the lake to fill up with sand is “saving” it. I think “Save Lake LBJ” needs a new name. But hey, I guess if the folks involved have hundreds of thousands of dollars to dredge a channel from their private boat launch into what remains of the lake then it’s all good eh?

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