Residents from the Port Alto/Olivia area addressed their concerns regarding the increasing number of RV parks in the area during the Citizens Comment portion of the recent meeting of the Calhoun County Commissioners’ Court.
“I want to speak about the RV park coming. Nobody told us about or talked to us about it,” said Linda Busby, a resident of Port Alto. “Our concern is that the commissioner knew this was coming, but we didn’t so that we could give our concerns about that many people in our little community if we have to leave there. We already have issues.”
The RV park in question is a $1.9 million facility of which Commissioner Clyde Syma said the developer had “gone above what they (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) recommended to get the permit. He has a reservoir tank for rainwater and is putting in water hydrants. He’s doing the right thing for the right reasons.”
“For the right people he’s doing the right thing,” said Robert Busby.
“No, sir. He’s trying to get the snowbirds from Rockport down here,” said Syma.
The roads, Highway 314 and Highway 305 were of concern to Linda Busby.
“They pull in with a forty-foot RV towing a vehicle on top of it. That’s sixty feet on those little roads that are so trashed - you know that Clyde; we had that meeting already. I know they are patching the holes, but those roads are not wide enough to handle RVs. I know, I’ve traveled the country in an RV, and those roads are not going to take it, and they are going to get worse and worse and worse.”
Commissioner Vern Lyssy told the residents the plans were available to them in the Calhoun County Clerk’s Office. He also noted that zoning laws would alleviate some of the residents’ concerns about property values, but “there are no zoning laws in the county.”
Assistant District Attorney Salyer added property owners who purchased the land legally could sue the county if a permit meeting all the requirements is denied.
Pastor Ruben Castillo, of Bayside Community Church, brought up the loss of agricultural and ranching land that is needed to feed America. “The land wasted on development is reducing farming and ranching, which will be a problem,” he said.
Carrie Guevarra, who lives off Marshall Johnson Road, expressed her concerns about traffic. “So many out there and the speed limits are not obeyed, and (Calhoun County Sheriff) Bobbie Vickery doesn’t have the proper manpower to control it. There’s a four-way stop, and someone’s going to get killed,” she said.
Vickery said while his four officers are out patrolling the streets, they still must answer calls. “The calls don’t stop coming in,” he said and encouraged the residents to call the Sheriff’s Office, get a license number if possible and let them know. “Don’t hesitate to call right away,” he said.
The Citizens Comment section is a no-action portion of the meeting where the commissioners can gather information but cannot take any action.
In other business, the commissioners approved an agreement with Advanced Health Action Center for the Ultrasound FAST Exam training class for paramedics. The course would teach EMS personnel how to use an ultrasound to look for internal bleeding on the scene and determine when to give blood and make better decisions, said EMS Director Dustin Jenkins. “This will allow them to make transportation decisions quicker with better accuracy,” he said.
In other business, the court:
-- Accepted $135,343.81 from TAC for property damage associated with Hurricane Harvey
-- Accepted a donation of a 2019 Ford F550 4X4 crew cab brush truck valued at $167,093 and added it to the Seadrift Volunteer Fire Department asset inventory list
-- Approved a four-year plan for LifePacks and Lucas Devices with Stryker for EMS
-- Approved a one-year inspections agreement with Geigle’s Utilities for public restrooms at 865 N. Ocean Drive
-- Approved a Request for Professional Engineering Services with G&W Engineering for the roof and air conditioning at Memorial Medical Center
-- Approved an annual grant with the Texas Department of Transportation for routine airport maintenance that would allow the county to recoup around 50 percent of the money spent to maintain it
-- Accepted reports from the County Clerk’s office, Calhoun County Tax Assessor/Collectors Office and the Calhoun County Auditor’s Office
-- Approved bills and payroll for the county and MMC