Kerr County is once again in the fight to keep a 345-kilovolt power transmission line out of Kerrville.
County commissioners voted last week to join the city in the appeal filed with the Travis County District Court. City Attorney Mike Hayes said he expects the first hearing in the case to be set for the second or third week in July.
Commissioners voted to allocate up to $5,000 to the lawsuit, matching the amounts put up by the city of Junction and the Kerrville Public Utility Board – the other partners in the appeal.
However, Hayes said that’s not likely to cover the expense of what could be a lengthy appeal process and that the city of Kerrville could be left paying the bulk of the cost to fight the power lines.
“I don’t suspect that will carry us through a hearing before a judge in July,” Hayes said.
The city filed the appeal after the Public Utility Commission of Texas took no action on a motion for a rehearing. Lawyers for the city and county said in the motion that the commission did not consider the values of the entire community when they voted to approve a route that will parallel Interstate 10 through Junction and Kerrville.
That route was one of about 75 proposed routes through the Hill Country. Another route that was considered and recommended by the administrative law judge would have put the power lines through the Tierra Linda community north of Kerrville.
Known as Competitive Renewable Energy Zones, the Texas Legislature in 1999 set forth a mandate to the LCRA to bring renewable energy from wind farms in West Texas to load centers throughout the state. Plans include routes through several area counties to connect the McCamey D Station, to be located in northern Schleicher County, to the existing Kendall Station, located in western Kendall County.
The route through Kerrville would run parallel and north of the interstate crossing the Harper Road and Sidney Baker Street interchanges.
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