Dear editor:

What a contrast in community concern/news reports! Almost two weeks have elapsed since the TCEQ finally “allowed” public commentary on the Sinton Steel Company permit to allow their wastewater to foul our bays and take our water supply for decades to come. Our local news has not given a mention that it occurred. Instead, we are treated to complete coverage of our county dispute over courthouse debt/design, 2-story vs. 3-story, tax valuations increase vs. no increase from financing methods, and voter disapproval vs. commissioners’ desires to do their job finally, three long years after Hurricane Harvey.

The TCEQ webinar participants were allowed first, to question our state’s TCEQ permitting agent and a TCEQ engineer, and also a Steel Dynamics’ engineer and a company rep. Then the public participants were allowed declaratory statements period. The vast majority of questions and statements correctly addressed the permanent damage potential to our bay system. Also addressed was the steel company taking of five million gallons of water per day from our 40 million gallons per day supply for the 18 communities dependent on the Mary Rhodes water pipeline from Lake Texana.

The company’s 1.6 million gallon per day waste alone adds to, and will be double the wastewater already flowing from the City of Sinton into Chiltipin Creek, then to Copano Bay.

Many public comments after the questioning period disproved the company and state research statistics and reporting. Very knowledgeable callers showed the company was mostly providing their application’s reported volumes of damaging materials and runoff just to meet state and federal limits, rather than actual levels from their other sites/factories in the U.S., or onsite volume/elevation survey investigation.

If our public officials and our news media have no interest, the damages to our surroundings and our water supply will be irreversible.

Just my individual opinion.

Gary Gilbert

Dear editor:

The article “County approves $13.4 million in Texas tax notes for courthouse”, which appeared in the Dec. 16 edition, incorrectly stated my comments made during the County Commissioners meeting of Dec. 14. After I summarized the artificial emergency created by the Long Term Recovery grant wranglers, I said that I was disappointed and dismayed to see that the Commissioners were considering approval of a courthouse project that had been rejected by our voters last month. The commissioners’ attempt to push this construction through in opposition to the vote and their attempt to finance it with tax notes instead of regular bond notes were arrogant displays of disregard for their constituents. My campaign focused on returning to the ABCs of County Government; Accountability, Build Trust, and Communicate Openly. None of these attributes was present in the court’s action.

I also stated that it was counterintuitive to have a sitting member of the court, who would be leaving at the end of the month, make decisions on the future courthouse and the financial burden of taxes placed on our residents since he had put his house on the market to sell and was planning to move out of the area in the near future. He should not be making long-term decisions with the knowledge that those decisions won’t impact him. Thank you for printing this correction to your earlier report.

Sincerely,

Pat Rousseau

Aransas County Commissioner Elect Pct. 3

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