Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CTA support MIA

These comments were presented during the citizen’s comment period of the June 27th Commissioners Court session. The material is a rework of the post immediately below. Please note that this was Vivian Dildy’s first appearance since her appointment to the vacated Precinct 4 Commissioners seat. Welcome on board!

The comments that were submitted to the Army Corps in response to the March 25 Public Notice were requested by a FOIA on May 11. They finally arrived last week. Here are some interesting stats about them.

There were a total of 60 comments. Of those, 4 were from official entities - LCRA, TPWD, City of Bastrop and Bastrop County. There were 2 from environmental organizations - Environmental Stewardship and Sierra Club. Of the remaining comments, 52 were from concerned citizens. With a total of 35, Cedar Creek residents posted twice as many as Elgin residents who provided 17. Only 2 comments supported the project and neither of them dealt with issues germane to the permit on which the Army Corps will be ruling.

The first of the two, received April 25, consists of one sentence scribbled at the bottom of a letter that ECO-Merge appears to have sent to its supporters on March 24 in an attempt to generate positive input to the Public Notice. It took a good while to decipher the handwriting which simply says “I strongly support the Ecomerge project”. The signature is pretty illegible but might be D. or Don Hill.

Interestingly, the ECO-Merge call-to-action is dated the day BEFORE the Public Notice was posted on March 25th. Most likely it was blasted to anyone who ever expressed support for the project. Please note that the Army Corps contact addresses are different than those in the Public Notice. Are improperly addressed comments even valid?

The second letter, received May 9 and also improperly addressed, came from Bill Graves, the Superintendent of the Elgin ISD. It’s all about money and how there is ‘no downside in this project’. It’s sad that this ‘educator’ hasn’t done his homework and considered the collateral damage. There is none so blind as he who dreams of a windfall . . .

So it seems that ECO-Merge’s pre-notification plea for support was pretty much of a bust. Is there ANY credible public support for this project? In contrast, submissions from the official entities, environmental organizations and well-informed citizens provided responsive, detailed comments. A selection of the more original and informative submissions have been scanned and posted to the StopCTA website.

The people have spoken loudly and clearly: THIS PROJECT IS A VERY BAD IDEA AND NEEDS TO BE STOPPED NOW!! But will our voices be heard?

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