Friday, April 29, 2011
Yesterday, SB1257 was passed by unanimous vote of those present. It has now moved on to the House for consideration.
Rep. Kleinschmidt’s Chief of Staff has said the Representative was disinclined to support the bill because it gives too much power to the Commissioners. Speakers at the Senate Natural Resources Committee Public Hearing last week expressed similar concerns.
Monday, April 25, 2011
These comments were presented during discussion of the agenda item dealing with the USACE permit application for work on the airport. Some adjustments were made on the fly in response to Ronnie Moore’s presentation at the beginning of the discussion.
Mr. Moore was quite happy to let the USACE do its job without input from the County. This would be a sure way for the developer to have his way with the Corps! However, the Court finally stepped up to the plate and agreed to address concerns about water quality in the comments that will be submitted by the County to the Corps. The Court even discussed if there was a possibility to upgrade the Environmental Assessment (EA) to a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)! The possibility of the Corps holding a Public Hearing and having the EA be made available for public review before a final determination is made was also discussed.
in addition to presenting comments, Steve Box of Environmental Stewardship submitted a detailed letter listing environmental and water quality concerns. He was also asked to contribute appropriate wording to the County’s letter to the Corps. A letter on behalf of Sierra Club was also submitted.
Please consider submitting comments to the USACE before the May 9th deadline.
At the last Court session, I challenged Bastrop County to do the right thing and submit comments to the Army Corps and TCEQ on the permit application that is the subject of this agenda item. Thank you for taking that challenge seriously.
This flawed application is pretty much what we have come to expect from the developer of the proposed Central Texas Airport. It contains incomplete and misleading information and is really unworthy of serious consideration. All in all, it’s more pipedream than reality.
The question is . . . will Bastrop County choose to debunk this fantasy or will it grant another free pass to this ill-conceived project?
If there is any upside to this application, it is that there is an opportunity for the reviewing agencies to hold public hearings. In addition to submitting CRITICAL comments, Bastrop County should request that those hearings take place.
It’s time to show your true colors. Are you going to do everything you can to protect the Colorado River and the taxpaying citizens of this county? Or do your loyalties lie elsewhere.
I guess we’ll know soon enough . . .
These comments were presented at the April 25th Bastrop County Commissioners Court Citizen’s Comment session. Additional comments were made during the discussion of agenda item #21 regarding the USACE permit application for work on the CTA.
On Tuesday I attended the Senate Natural Resources Committee Public Hearing on SB1257. This bill filed by Sen. Hegar addresses the issue of annexation of non-contiguous land across a county line - a scenario which came up recently regarding Cottonwood Creek WCID #3 in Travis County and the proposed Central Texas Airport. The intention of this bill is to safeguard that the County being annexed would have a say in the matter.
While it’s commendable that Sen. Hegar (and Sen. Watson) have been rather aggressive on this issue - as evidenced by their March 2 joint letter to the Cottonwood Creek WCID #3 Board of Directors - this bill may not offer the protection intended . . . at least in Bastrop County.
Considering the less than stellar judgment that this Court has exhibited to date on the Central Texas Airport, the language in this bill that gives the commissioners of the county in which the land to be annexed is located the sole power to consent by order or resolution to the proposed annexation is quite troubling. Would the Bastrop County Commissioners stand up and say “NO!” or would it be another rubberstamp to a reckless and unneeded project?
The two speakers at that Hearing - Mike Talbot, the Bastrop City Manager, and myself - had similar concerns about shortcomings in the bill’s language. The City would like to ensure that its authority in the ETJ is not compromised and I suggested that there be a provision for open, public participation perhaps in a public hearing, before any decision was made by the Commissioners. I am hoping that the language of this bill will be amended to include additional protections when it gets to the Senate floor.
It is unfortunate that there was not a greater grassroots presence at that hearing . . . opportunities like this should not be squandered. But there is still time to call Sen. Hegar’s office and request that language be added to this bill to ensure the citizens of this county would have a voice in any annexation decision. All the information you need to do that is posted on the StopCTA.info website. Please make that phone call today!
Should SB1257 become law in its present form, this Court’s integrity will be on the line to honor Judge McDonald’s repeated promise that a public forum would be called if the creation of a Municipal Utility District was ever under consideration. We will be watching closely.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
StopCTA’s comments to the Senate Natural Resources Committee outline the deficiencies in SB1257 which is on its way to the Senate floor. This bill leaves the approval of annexation of non-contiguous land across a county line up to the County Commissioners. In Bastrop County that would likely be another rubberstamp further enabling the proposed Central Texas Airport. Some sort of citizen notification and participation would offer protection to the citizens of Bastrop County. Please call Sen. Hegar’s office at 512-463-0118 and request that language be added to SB1257 to give citizens a voice on annexation.
Call Sen. Hegar NOW!!
Friday, April 22, 2011
StopCTA’s challenge to the Bastrop Commissioners Court has been heard! This item is on the agenda for Monday April 25th at 9am. A substantial presence encouraging them to submit critical comments would be helpful. Hope to see you there!
This permit application is to satisfy Section 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act, for proposed drainage modifications associated with the proposed Central Texas Airport; Ronnie Moore