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Mason County Resolution

WHEREAS, The State of Texas is pursuing an aggressive strategy to increase the electricity generating capacity from renewable energy technologies; and,

WHEREAS, a plan was developed by the Public Utilities Commission Of Texas (PUC) to construct transmission capacity to deliver generated power from the five designated Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ's) to electric customers in the metropolitan areas, said plan massive structures and transmission lines that could cross over portions of Mason County; and,

WHEREAS, the PUC has selected the Lower Colorado River Authority Transmission Service Corporation (LCRA TSC) to construct and operate the segments of the transmission line plan that may be located in Mason County; and,

WHEREAS, the LCRA TSC specified the use of lattice structures in its bid to the PUC, and that such lattice structures have a huge footprint and will maximize the negative visual impact and economic consequences of the transmission lines in our beautiful Texas Hill Country; and,

WHEREAS, the Mason County Commissioners Court supports the pursuit of renewable energy sources and recognizes the need to deliver the energy to market; and,

WHEREAS, the Mason County Commissioners Court acknowledges that construction cost is a factor in determining the selected routes; however, it should not necessarily be one of the primary factors as there are long term impacts to the community and region based on the selected routes; and,

Whereas, the Mason County Commissioners Court strongly encourages Mason County residents to make their public comments concerning the routing of the CREZ right-of way to the LCRA and the PUC prior to the October 28, 2009 deadline, and

Whereas, the Study Area for the McCamey D-Kendall Portion of the 345-KV Project is approximately 175 miles long and 20 miles wide and this study area encompasses approximately 3,500 sq. miles, and there are multiple ROW's (Rights of Way) within this study area for possible parallel routing, such as power line ROW's, underground natural gas transmission ROW's, state and county road ROW's, and the size and nature of this study area appears to have all the ingredients necessary to identify several alternative transmission lines routes to connect the proposed McCamey D substation to the existing Kendall Substation;

Therefore, the Mason County Commissioners Court feels that there is no need to "expand" the original study area; and,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that on this day, the 14th of September, 2009, Mason County Commissioners Court has consolidated the various opinions of Mason County Citizens, and the Court wishes to express this both to the LCRA and the Public Utility Commission concerning the routing of the CREZ right-of-ways and transmission lines.

That the Commissioners Court request PUC to consider a re-route plan that would bypass Mason County;
  1. That many of our citizens are extremely concerned with health issues that may result or increase over time from the operation of a 345 KVA transmission line in the proximity of their homes or businesses; and,
  2. That, if a route were to be selected that crosses Mason County, that land owners be fully compensated for their easements for the construction and operation of transmission line, including some future consideration based on an incremental value of the transmission line, production, or some other criteria;
  3. That the use of monopoles be part of any plan as an alternative to lattice structures;
  4. That any route selected should consider the long term negative impact on ecotourism, and be planned to minimize the loss of value of property, tourism, and aesthetics to our Texas Hill Country;
  5. And, for the PUC to consider public comment as an extremely high priority in selection or development of any transmission route or plan choice that goes through Mason County

PASSED AND APPROVED THIS 14TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2009.