Landowners decry Dry Creek Project
by Tim Delaney
Feb 16, 2014 | 48 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
REFUGIO – Three Refugio County landowners expressed concern and surprise by the county’s Dry Creek project at the Refugio County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Although the item was not on the commissioners court agenda, the landowners were allowed to speak, but commissioners were not allowed to respond.

“I have concerns particularly in the absence of easements,” said D.I. McLallen, who said he was a partner in the Mission River Ranch.

He said the project “happened completely without notice, without easement.”

His partner, John Jackson, said the project was 1,000 lineal feet.

“It was a great job of cleaning up, but I am concerned it happened in the first place,” Jackson said.

Kyle Morgan was another landowner who voiced concerns.

He said he was not notified of any plan or proposal of what was going on.

“No surveyor came in to see if you were doing good here or actually destroying property,” he said.

After the meeting, Morgan said two other property owners were concerned too. They were Jerry Johnson and T. Michael O’Connor.

He said he couldn’t believe a contract was signed by officials who did not check to see if they had an easement.

County Judge Rene Mascorro invited the landowners to talk with him after the meeting.

The Dry Creek project was funded by a Coastal Impact Assistance Program grant, which comes from the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Shirley & Sons Construction Company Inc., of Cleveland, was contracted for the removal of debris from Dry Creek. The company had the low and quickest time bid of $79,686 with completion in 30 days beginning in September.

The grant money for the project was managed by GrantWorks of Austin.

Commissioners approved a measure on a 3-2 vote to deobligate $27,280 from a Refugio and Woodsboro school districts’ wetlands lab materials and reobligate the funds to the Dry Creek Debris Removal project which had gone over budget.

Voting against the measure was Commissioner Stanley Tuttle and Commissioner Gary Bourland.

“It’s hard for me to make a decision without having some questions answered,” Tuttle said.

In other commissioners court business, County Attorney Todd Steele clarified a new contract with the Fair Association. He said the contract applied to the Expo Center and not other structures or grounds. Fair Association members thought the new contract applied to other structures and the grounds.

Bourland assured Fair Association board members the relationship with the county would remain the same or get better.

Mascorro said the county has had a long relationship with the Fair Association.

“We want to continue that,” he said.
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