HUTTO, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - City leaders in Hutto are doing everything they can to prevent a Lubbock company from building a waste transfer station in their growth corridor. The Mayor, Hutto City Council and Hutto ISD spoke against the plan at a public meeting held by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which will eventually decide whether to permit the operation.
The site where Lealco plans to build the waste transfer station is outside the city limits of Hutto, but it is in their extraterritorial jurisdiction and they do eventually plan to annex that land into the city, which is why city staff is fighting on behalf of people who live in the area.
Tuesday, Hutto city leaders got their first chance to address Lealco's plan to build the waste transfer station. “We get calls every day expressing concern and, although it's not in the city, that's why we were out there. It’s because we support them and we do the best that we can for them because the future of Hutto is out in the north part of the town,” said Thomas Hines, Mayor pro tem for the City of Hutto.
About 100 people attended the public meeting, many of them in positions of authority in Hutto. “It is something the ISD, the city, the county, Jonah Water and residents all opposed. There was not anybody for it,” Hines said.
The problem is because the station would sit outside of city limits, the city's ability to stop the project is limited. "We found out about it when, all of a sudden, there was a sign put up out on the property. Some residents started calling and TCEQ published that they had given them a temporary permit."
City officials said the plan could eventually take money out of their pockets.
“To put in another waste transfer station, or to make the current landfill even bigger, would just have grave economic affects. That would set us back years,” Hines said.
The site is on County Road 130, near the land where Hutto ISD is building a new high school. “The roadway out there cannot handle the trucks that they're asking for, especially County Road 130,” said Hines. “It's a safety hazard. We have schools that are going to be built out there,” he added.
It's also right across from the Williamson County Landfill, next to Mustang Creek and close to several growing neighborhoods. For the community, property values are a major concern. “It's going to affect us dramatically. We've got 10 acres, a 4,400 square foot house, and I'm afraid that it's just going to put us in the hole,” said Scott Gollihare who lives about 1.5 miles from the proposed station.
“Especially since we don't know anything about the odor control, the water runoff, again the traffic, don't know what safety measures they have in place, or would put in place, that's been very secretive thus far,” Hines said. That’s why people in Hutto only have one word left to say about Lealco's proposal.
“Move. This is not the place,” said Gollihare.
After that it will be up to them to decide whether to grant a final permit.