This letter was e-mailed to all Texas Hill Country Heritage Members with e-mail addresses. Would you consider putting it in the paper in order to encourage more of the public’s participation? Thanks for your consideration.
Dear THCHA members:
On July 28, LCRA is scheduled to present to the PUC its recommended route for the 345-kilovolt transmission line connecting a substation in Schleicher County with one near Comfort.
On June 14, the Kerr County commissioners passed a resolution specifically recommending that the LCRA use the Menard-Mason-Gillespie route. In a news article, the Kerr County judge even went so far as to describe the selection of the Mason route as a no-brainer. Right now, there is a tremendous push from Kerr County residents to get the line run through Mason County rather than along the I-10 corridor.
In the next two or three weeks, it is critical for you as individual THCHA members to do your part in countering this effort. Please take the time today to write to the PUC (with copies to LCRA and our state representatives) regarding PUC Docket Number 37049 and stating your reasons why the use of the Menard-Mason-Gillespie route would be detrimental to the Hill Country. The appropriate email and mailing addresses are listed below. Even if you have written before, this would be an excellent time to update and amplify your comments for the record. In your letter, please provide details about the problems and hazards these lines would pose to you, your family, your property, and our community.
Here are some further suggestions for letter writing:
(1) At the top of the letter or in the subject line of the email, refer to PUC Docket Number 37049, Menard-Mason-Gillespie Route.
(2) If you are a business owner in Mason, emphasize the importance of both heritage tourism and recreational tourism and discuss the potential detriment to your business from having these imposing and unsightly structures in the county. Mention that Mason is one of the better-preserved historic towns in the hill country.
(3) If you are a landowner, homeowner or realtor, discuss the impact on property values.
(4) If you are a landowner and derive part of your income from recreational tourism, discuss the impact on hunting, camping, fishing, bird watching, cabin rentals, B&Bs, etc.
(5) If you are a recreational user of the rivers or the land, stress the impact of these lines on the landscape, environment and wildlife habitats. Also state any relevant credentials that you have.
(6) If you are a member of the Historical Society, the Historical Commission, or one of the museum committees, state that fact and discuss the impact of the structures on the historic nature and atmosphere of the county as well as the archaeology of the area.
(7) If you serve on the board of another civic organization (e.g., Chamber of Commerce, Operation Orphans), state that fact and explain how the lines would interfere with the goals of your organization.
(8) If your family has lived in Mason for several generations, provide those specifics and discuss the importance of heritage to you.
(9) If you live elsewhere but are a regular visitor to Mason, Menard or Gillespie Counties, discuss why you are drawn to this region and how the lines would affect it.
(10) While the tone of the letter should be courteous and professional, don't hesitate to include a strong, heartfelt and very personal statement about what this area means to you and why you think this route is not an acceptable choice.
ADDRESS LETTERS OR EMAILS TO:
Barry T. Smitherman, Chairman
Texas Public Utilities Commission
P.O. Box 13326
Austin, Texas 78711-3326
SEND COPIES TO:
P.O. Box 220
Austin, TX 78767-0220
Sen. Troy Fraser
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
Rep. Harvey Hilderbran
Room CAP GW 12
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, Texas 78768