Serving Kerr County with a Conscience

​Martin Marietta Quarry Fact Sheet

  • As per the resolution by Kerr County, quarries are detrimental to the environment - air, water, noise, landscape, and can impact property values in a negative way.
  • Kerr County says Martin Marietta (MM) has a positive impact on economy. Kerr Central Appraisal District (KCAD) has the valuation of their current property in Center Point at $1,837 million in 2003. During the years between 2005 and 2008 it increased to a peak value of $3,486 million. By 2015 it had declined to a valuation of $1,692 million. There is no sales tax revenue collected locally on their product. Obviously, the property value has declined to below what it was valued when they purchased it in 2002; approximately $150,000 lower and trending downward. This is standard for the industry (to lower their property values), and has been verified.
  • The current Kerrville property was purchased for approximately $5 million in Dec. 2014, about 13 months ago. Obviously, there is a great disparity between the 2015 appraisal valuation and the market sales price; KCAD should adjust the appraised value to reflect the correct market value. There was a For Sale sign on this property. It does not appear to have been listed in MLS prior to the sale, so it must have been a private transaction. KCAD has access to MLS data but would not be obtainable if a private transaction.
  • Why is MM moving forward when they have publicly stated they want to visit with the citizens, and annexation is in process? Annexation is a standard practice with municipalities. We have knowledge of a company similar to MM which has had property annexed, while in operations in 2015, and another site is currently in annexation in another town. This municipal action will freeze their work. There is a social and moral responsibility to stop when the County has passed a resolution, the City is annexing the land, the Chamber of Commerce is considering making a stand against it, adjacent neighbors and businesses have expressed their scorn for this operation. There is a high school within 400 ft. of this site, the Guadalupe River as a water source borders the property, and the airport has air traffic 200 ft. over the site. This, obviously, is not an appropriate place for a quarry. They knew they would be up against a fight when they bought a property within the ETJ. The photo on the back of this information shows what the property in Center Point looks like after being mined.
  • The MM representative stated at the January 12th City council meeting they are regulated by TCEQ. TCEQ has stated they are only required to inspect this type operation once every three years, unless there are complaints. The MM Center Point operation is not inspected by TCEQ, but MM has been approved for self-regulation. The last inspection was in June, 2014, by MM and not TCEQ. I have spoken to representatives of TCEQ in San Antonio on the telephone and have been impressed with their responses and taking notes to respond to questions. I was told this (Split Rock) property was not inspected, nor was it required to be prior to issuing the permit to MM.
  • Mining of this type is probably one of the least regulated industries. As a real estate developer, I would have to go through more regulation to increase property values and enhance the property versus destroying it.
  • Can the TCEQ permit be rescinded? If so, how and why? We need details. Has TCEQ ever rescinded similar permits before?
  • Will MM get a permit for mining in the flood zone area and a rock crusher similar to their current site down the road at Center Point?
  • How much money in materials will MM see out of this site? How long will the mine be at this site, if approved? The application shows 194 acres results in 227,000 tons of gravel. What else will be mined and sold from this site?
  • 227,000 tons of gravel is equivalent to 17,000 dump truck loads.
  • 1 acre dug to a depth of 20 feet is 32,000 cubic yards of material
  • 175 acres quarried to a depth of 20 feet is 5,600,000 cubic yards of material, or 700,000 dump truck loads
  • Does MM have any pending lawsuits? Has MM ever been found to be in violation of any TCEQ rules?
  • How many quarries does the San Antonio region have? Approximately 200. How many TCEQ inspectors for storm water runoff? Only 1.
  • Does TCEQ have permit restrictions when a quarry site is located within 1,000 feet of structures, such as schools, homes, or a major river?
  • Reputable businesses should be socially responsible in the community. Clearly, MM is not wanted this close to our town, residents, schools, businesses, airport and river. It is time to act like a reputable company.
  • Lastly, the 6 to 10 jobs they create is not a large impact to this community when you compare with what James Avery Jeweler (360), Fox Tank (60+), Our Lady of the Hills High School (20+) and Mooney International (55+) bring to the immediate area, and all are in the city limits.

Trevor Hyde

President, Comanche Trace

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​RV Park Safety

The beginning construction of the Old River Road RV Resort presents several public safety concerns. The most urgent is the predictability of lost lives during flooding. Yes, predictable, because this RV park is located within a dangerous portion of the floodplain. The project sits at the confluence of the Guadalupe River, Turtle Creek and Nowlin’s Hollow which assures rising water during heavy rains. Whether deluges occur in Turtle Creek’s watershed to the southwest, the Guadalupe’s from the west, or Nowlin’s Hollow from north of the airport, each presents the probability of life-threatening water rises. A rain event involving any two or all three of these watersheds assures walls of water and overwhelming flooding within minutes. The view from Highway 27, just east of the airport, explains why. The site is a small, bowl-shaped valley, surrounded by hills on three sides. The remaining boundary is the river. Drainage is limited to the southeast corner along the Guadalupe’s narrow outlet. The potential volume of accumulating water is far greater than emptying capacity.

Historically, there are two landmarks on the valley’s eastern ridge, a family home and an iconic oak tree marking the site of the Welborn family cemetery. Edward Wellborn lived there as a child and recalls the 1932 flood filling the entire valley. Only the house and cemetery oak were visible above water.

Debris in cypress trees confirmed that Turtle Creek crested at 42 feet at this convergence in the 1978 flood. Photos of the Monkey Island area, adjacent to the park, show huge Cypress stumps uprooted and deposited there during flooding. A naked eye observation reveals the RV site resting on lower ground than the Cypress stumps. One Center Point resident recalls working as a young man to remove cypress trees and stumps deposited in the valley’s field during floods . . . the same field the RV Park will occupy.

In a Hill Country flood the valley will fill rapidly with turbulent floodwaters. Evacuating the planned 240 RVs and their occupants becomes a public safety issue. The only exit is the steep uphill entrance in the southeast corner at the convergence of water from Turtle Creek and the Guadalupe. How much warning is needed to avoid the chaos of a bottleneck at this exit, because it is only wide enough for one RV at a time? How many RVs will be disabled by even a few feet of water flooding into the park?

Many of those fleeing will be retirees and elderly, unable to meet the physical challenge of escaping rushing water and climbing steep hillsides. Rainwater cascading down the hillsides would only diminish their chance of survival. Will a quarry bordering the northeast corner of the Park fill with water from Nowlin’s Hollow and add to the chaos?

Any RV fortunate enough to drive out in time faces the possibility of being swept away. A right turn out of the park runs into a flooded low water bridge at Brink’s Crossing. A left turn carries an RV along the narrow River Road sandwiched between Drymala Quarry berms and the Guadalupe. A ditch draining water from the berms increases the likelihood of water washing over the road and possible washouts.

Kerr County’s Flood Plain administrator has approved a no rise certificate indicating that the RV park’s presence will not obstruct the normal flow of water during river rises. The purpose is to protect upstream property owners from back-up and higher floodwaters. Who considers the safety of the RV Park customers facing the same floodwaters, especially if a flash flood occurs at night?

Frances Lovett

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RV Park Update

The RV Park plan proposed by Richard Colvin in 2009 did not materialize. Financial hardship entered the picture for Colvin. When he was unable to obtain financing, Victoria National Bank of Corpus Christi, Texas foreclosed. In June 2011 the bank held an auction on the site, but a sufficient bid was not obtained. In November of 2012, the property was purchased by William Sturges, also of Corpus Christi. He moved forward with plans for another RV park, called Old River Road RV Resort.

Frances Lovett

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