To the Editor:
In an open letter to the friends and neighbors of Mason and Menard in last week’s Mason County News, the Clear View Alliance (CVA) claimed that when the Kimble County Commissioners Court unanimously adopted resolutions urging the PUC and the LCRA to expand the study area for the CREZ transmission line to include the Menard-Mason route, they failed to also mention the U.S. 277 / I-10 route due to an oversight.
The CVA also claimed that it has not adopted any specific route and that it never intended Kimble County to be excluded from the study.
The Kimble County Commissioners Court adopted eight resolutions in June. The CVA was specifically mentioned in the preamble and in three of the resolutions. It is obvious that the CVA was actively involved in persuading the Court to adopt these resolutions and it seems likely that the CVA had significant input into the wording of the resolutions.
The Kimble County Commissioners Court didn’t simply encourage the PUC and the LCRA to expand the study area — the resolutions adopted by the Court strongly urged the PUC and the LCRA to adopt a specific alternate route “following, utilizing and/or paralleling existing 138kV transmission line(s) traveling through Menard, Mason and Gillespie Counties.”
The Court’s resolutions mentioned expanding the current study area in order to support the adoption of the Menard-Mason-Gillespie route, a route that would bypass Kimble County entirely. It is difficult to believe that the omission of the U.S. 277 / I-10 route (or any other alternate route) was a mere oversight when the thrust of the resolutions was to urge the PUC and the LCRA to adopt a specific route through Menard, Mason and Gillespie Counties.
The CVA seems to be trying to distance itself from the actions of the Kimble County Commissioners Court in an attempt to convince residents of Mason and Menard that the CVA is simply trying to protect the Hill Country and that it is not advocating “my county versus your county.”
The CVA could take three actions that would lend credibility to this claim.
The CVA could petition the Kimble County Commissioners Court to rescind the previous resolutions urging the PUC and the LCRA to adopt the Menard-Mason-Gillespie route and pass new resolutions urging the PUC and the LCRA to consider all of the alternative routes in the expanded study area, including the U.S. 277 / I-10 route.
The CVA could oppose the Menard-Mason-Gillespie route as vigorously as it has opposed the original proposed route through Kimble County.
The CVA could support Senator Troy Fraser and Representative Harvey Hilderbran in encouraging the PUC and the LCRA to adopt the U.S. 277 / I-10 route. This route is a better option for protecting the Hill Country.
The CVA deserves credit for encouraging Hill Country landowners and residents to participate in the process of selecting routes for the CREZ transmission lines. If the CVA demonstrates that it is concerned about protecting the Hill Country and not about advocating the interests of one county at the expense of others, it might also deserve the support of landowners and residents in Mason and Menard.
William R. Volk
P.O. Box 74
Art, Texas 76820
Note to Gerry Gamel: I own property in Mason County and am very interested in the routing of the CREZ line. I live in Austin, but spend most weekends at our place in Mason County. I have included my Mason County address to show my connection to the area. If you would prefer to list my Austin address, I am happy to provide it to you. Thanks.