A standing room-only crowd filled the Washington County Courthouse Chambers this (Tuesday) morning, as commissioners met to discuss a recently withdrawn oil development proposal.
Representatives from Plains All American Pipeline announced Monday they are no longer considering the roughly 150 acres on Palestine Road in the Sandy Hill community, for a crude oil storage terminal. The company has given notice of its cancelation of the contract to purchase the property, which was originally set to close on Friday.
Commissioners were set to vote on a resolution opposing the development’s proposed location, but withdrew the item from the agenda given the company’s decision.
Plains Communications Manager Katie Martin clarified the company’s choice, saying it ultimately decided that it needed more time to consider the location.
Martin said the company appreciates all of the feedback received, and looks forward to contributing and supporting local economic and philanthropic efforts along its project route. She offered contact information for anyone with additional questions or comments, at www.redoakpipeline.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commissioners Joy Fuchs and Don Koester both commended Red Oak Pipeline, who Plains is representing as a construction manager. Fuchs said Red Oak was “forthright” and showed “really good character” with this decision. Commissioner Kirk Hanath thanked the community for acting respectfully towards the companies, and said they did a great job of organizing.
Resident Tom Bartley said he had come with a petition signed by over 60 other residents against the project’s proposed location, but said it was no longer necessary given the outcome. He thanked commissioners for their support and Plains for reconsidering the proposal. He asked that, in the future, residents are notified of projects like these well in advance.
No word was given at the meeting if the developers will continue to look at other sites in the county.
Also in court today, commissioners:
- Heard a presentation from Washington County Veterans Association President Ben Seeker on the Veterans Park. Seeker told commissioners that he is working with the City of Brenham on installing additional security lighting and cameras at the Veterans Memorial, following vandalism at the memorial plaza in late September. He said investigation is ongoing, as police thought they had a good lead but it did not pan out. A reward is still being offered for information leading to an arrest.
- Approved allocation of the District Attorney’s reserve fund balance as 8/31/19 between Washington County and Burleson County, pursuant to Senate Bill 891. The funds were distributed at a 60-40 percent split: Washington County received $103,566, while Burleson County received $67,637.
- Approved the 2020 Washington County holiday schedule.
- Approved community service contracts with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and the Washington County Healthy Living Association.
- Approved formal notices from Corix Utilities-NEWCWS for: a 4-inch road bore for a water line and new service meter within county right-of-way on Wellmann Road in Precinct One; a 2-inch road bore for an existing service meter within county right-of-way on Prairie Hill Road in Precincts One and Three; and a 2-inch road bore for a new service meter within county right-of-way on Old Independence Road in Precinct One.
Commissioners then adjourned into workshop session to discuss the county’s employee compensation plan.