Monday, March 11, 2013

Too bad, so sad

In the beginning there was the private Colorado Riverland Ranch Airport. Then there was the public Central Texas Airport. Not a very appetizing addition to the idyllic Bastrop County landscape. But then the Green Corporate Centers (GCC) and the promise of mega economic development came along to entice our County Commissioners and get them on board. Suddenly the airport was more than just an airport even though the first mention of the GCC, couched in generalizations and almost an afterthought, doesn’t appear until page 9 of the infamous Perryman Group’s report.

The question is . . . did the promise of the Green Corporate Centers development actually make it into the 381 Agreement? If it’s there, StopCTA can’t find it.

The project requirements, defined in Section 9 of the 381, include the following elements:

(i) the Airport; (ii) Commercial Improvements ; and (iii) Infrastructure Improvements.

But nowhere in the 381 Agreement is there any description of what those ‘commercial improvements’ might be. Even the Perryman report is vague about exactly what the project would include. Page 7 of the report suggests ‘bringing aviation-related business as well as others wanting to take advantage of the airport’ to the business park.

The next bullet point is more specific about the CTA’s plans:

Among other things, Phase I will include the basic infrastructure for the airport and roadways as well as 35 hangars.

Maybe all that GCC hype is lumped under ‘other things’. Or perhaps ‘other things’ merely refers to MRO (Maintenance and Repair Operations or Overhaul) facilities necessary to support airport activities. Likewise, the 381 Agreement provides no specific answers in the parameters of the Required Project Development.

To add insult to injury, this clause makes it absolutely clear that all promises of greeny goodness have vanished:

Section 3. Entire Agreement.

(a) All Agreements. All oral and written agreements between the Parties to this Agreement relating to the subject matter of this Agreement that were made prior to the execution of this Agreement have been reduced to writing and are contained in this Agreement.

Then came the final admission in the revised Environmental Information Document (EID) submitted to the USACE in January 2012, that states unequivocally that the requested permitting is only for the airport.

So much for that pie-in-the-sky economic development project. Too bad, so sad. The Commissioners have no one to blame but themselves for unanimously approving an inadequately constructed contract that has burdened the County with a stinkin’ airport. Period.

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