The Hutto Citizens Group (HCG) have found out it’s impossible to get a Republican to stand up and assist them with their struggles. No so for Democrats. They’re more than willing to stand with the citizens of Hutto and assist them in their struggle. The HCG along with several other speakers yesterday urged the Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to reconsider where to run transmission lines in and around Hutto.
It’s important to not that the HCG, as it pertains to the landfill and this issue, are not fighting a NIMBY battle. They are not against either project but would like their input into into how the projects proceed, since there the one’s, primarily, that will have to live with it – literally. Seems reasonable and something anyone who currently represents them, or would like to represent them in the future, would be willing to help them with. Below is the is the text of their report [.pdf] from yesterday’s press conference in Austin.
Jeff Maurice, representing the Hutto Citizens Group, was one of the speakers
Several speakers held a press conference in Austin on Tuesday, September 9, and asked the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to change their plans to overrun Hutto with electric transmission infrastructure which they claim would have a devastating effect on Hutto’s growth and economy. On Thursday, September 11, the PUC is scheduled to take action on the applications filed by the LCRA and TXU.
Diana Maldonado, the Democratic candidate for state representative from District 52, said, “Downtown Hutto would look like it had been invaded by giant, industrial robots. This is horrible for Hutto, and agencies like the PUC and LCRA have an opportunity to serve this community and fix this problem by moving the switching station out of town.”
Jaime Lynn, the Democratic candidate for Williamson County attorney, said, “It is only reasonable that
installation of the lines be constructed with single-pole structures to maintain as much visual integrity as possible, to have the lines follow a route along SH-130 as much as possible to avoid schools and sensitive areas, and to relocate the massive substation to a more remote area.” Lynn also called for “an up-to-date study” of the entire plan to ensure that ratepayer money is not frivolously wasted.
David Begier, the mayor pro-tem of Hutto, said, “It is socially irresponsible to route a project of this magnitude through one of the fastest growing cities in the state. To remedy this problem, the city has requested partial approval of the project to allow additional study of more reasonable and responsible routes in and around the Hutto area.”
Jeff Maurice, representing the Hutto Citizens Group, said, “We find it unconscionable that the LCRA
would continue with these plans after having been made aware of their detriment to the Hutto area. We also believe the PUC should take a hard look at what is really involved and act in the best interests of citizens instead of rubber-stamping a plan which has the primary goal of benefiting these utilities financially.”
Mike Fowler, the former mayor of Hutto, said there is a better way to accomplish the needs of providing electric transmission infrastructure without devastating the Hutto community. “We’re asking that LCRA, TXU and the PUC look at the better alternatives we have proposed, including single-pole structures and moving that monstrous substation.
In a statement distributed to media from Dr. David Borrer of the Hutto Independent School District, the
district’s Board of Trustees cited the danger of the transmission infrastructure for schools and emphasized use of the SH-130 corridor. The statement said that using the SH-130 route “complies with Governor (Rick) Perry’s desire to establish transportation corridors that can be used for this very purpose.”
Also invited but not participating in the press conference were Brian Daniel, the Republican candidate for state representative from House District 52, Jana Duty, the Republican candidate for Williamson County attorney, Williamson County Judge Dan Gattis, Sr., and Williamson County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ron Morrison. (Emphasis added).
The transmission lines issue really is a no-brainer. This project was conceived when Hutto was still a very small town, which it is no longer. Revisiting this issue now that the situation has changed so drastically makes perfect sense. It’s very disheartening, and leads everyone to wonder if there’s some hidden partisan agenda, since not one Republican showed up to assist these citizens when they were invited.