Council approves additional resources in permit fight
Progress on expanding needed City infrastructure has again been slowed by Granbury Fresh, Victoria Calder, Stacey and James Rist, and Bennett’s Camping Center and RV Ranch, who--after having been denied at multiple levels--are now taking legal action by filing an appeal in court against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to halt a much-needed increase in Granbury’s wastewater treatment capacity.
Last October, the City of Granbury’s request to move ahead with building a much-needed wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) on the east side of the city was unanimously approved by TCEQ. Commissioners granted a permit for the plant, to be built at 3121 Old Granbury Rd.
Last June, after more than a month of hearings and submittal of evidence in which 13 raised issues were considered, a two-judge panel determined the City met its burden of proof on all 13 raised issues and the panel recommended the TCEQ issue a Draft Permit to the City.
Last month, Granbury Fresh, et al filed for an appeal in Travis County District Court against the TCEQ to repeal the approved permit for construction of the WWTP.
At their February 7 meeting, City Council authorized City Manager Chris Coffman to again hire attorney Jason Hill to file for an intervention into the fight between Granbury Fresh, et al and the TCEQ. Hill has successfully represented the City throughout the permit process. His knowledge and assistance to the State Attorney General’s office will be advantageous to expediting the process as it reviews and fights Granbury Fresh, et al on behalf of the TCEQ.
Planning for the new WWTP began in 2016. The delays in building the new WWTP have cost City of Granbury residents an estimated $15 million dollars in construction fees. Legal fees and expert witness fees are approximately $735,000.
Granbury’s growth toward exceeding adequate wastewater capacity has been temporarily resolved with a City Council-approved building moratorium. An estimated $250 million in projects are on hold due to the moratorium.
In previous testimony, Dr. Ray Perryman, President and CEO of The Perryman Group, determined the Estimated Annual Impact Associated with Inadequate Wastewater Capacity to Support Anticipated Growth on Business Activity in Hood County, Results as of 2040, Total Expenditures are $156,300,000.
He also found the annual Job Loss is 1,029. Almost half of the jobs lost (511) are in the Retail Trade industry, which includes restaurants, financial activities, and real estate. Roughly one-quarter of the annual jobs lost (261) are in the Health Services industry.
A timetable for the lawsuit has not been set.