Kinder Morgan Pipeline representative Greg Neal asked the Schleicher County Commissioners Court on Monday morning for a 90-day extension of the “road use agreement” his company negotiated with the county. Neal explained that the 42-inch Permian Highway natural gas pipeline that Kinder Morgan plans to build along the 430-mile route from the Waha Hub in West Texas to near Katy, Texas, has been delayed due to regulatory concerns. He said the pipeline is awaiting approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The pipeline has run into strong opposition, particularly in the Texas Hill Country.

Chris Tomlinson, a business columnist for the Houston Chronicle wrote in a July 3, 2019 article that a group called THREAD (Texas Real Estate Advocacy and Defense Council) is opposing the pipeline.

Tomlinson argued that group’s like THREAD who opposed the pipeline for environmental reasons, should actually be supportive. He noted that it is widely accepted that the best way to fight climate change is for electric power plants to be fueled by clean-burning natural gas.

In June of this year, Travis County District Judge Lora J. Livingston dismissed a lawsuit that sought to halt construction of the pipeline. The lawsuit was brought by Hays County, the City of Kyle, and three private landowners. Kinder Morgan and the Texas Railroad Commission were named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Construction of the Permian Highway Pipeline was expected to begin here in October. It is unknown if the project will be delayed beyond the 90-day extension that Neal asked for and received from the county commissioners.

In other business, the commissioners approved the minutes of their October 21st meeting. They also reviewed and approved financial reports as presented by County Treasurer Jennifer Henderson.
Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran then informed the commissioners that he will not be seeking re-election in 2020. Doran said he has been in law enforcement for 32 years, including the past 23 years as Schleicher County Sheriff.

Doran said he will serve out the end of his current term, which ends on December 31, 2020. He said he plans to remain in Schleicher County and pursue another career path while continuing to help with the Eldorado Service Center.

Chief Deputy Jason Chatham and Jail Administrator Lesa Romero were on hand for the announcement. The commissioners seemed surprised by Doran’s news, but wished him well.

The commissioners next approved a “salary contribution agreement” with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The agreement is the same one the county has had in the past with the extension service for the provision of a county extension agent.

Schleicher County Judge Charlie Bradley explained that AgriLife Extension Service District Administrator Marty Gibbs is currently trying to recruit an Agriculture Extension Agent for Schleicher County. Bradley said that many people believe the county has control of the extension program, but in reality, the county only helps supplement the program financially and has no control over hiring an extension agent.

In other business, the commissioners approved the payment of $7,625.91 for repairs to a 963 Caterpillar.

The commissioners also called for bids for a depository contract for county funds for the next four years. They also intend to enact parking regulations along certain county roads as well as regulating weight limits, speed limits and other safety related matters. See public notices regarding the depository contract and the road regulations on Page 5 and Page 7 of this edition.

Before adjourning, the commissioners cast the county’s votes for Chris Meador and Steve Nelson to serve on the Schleicher County Appraisal District’s board of directors.

Judge Charlie Bradley presided over Monday’s meeting with Commissioners Chris Meador, Kirk Griffin, Steve Nelson and Johnny Mayo in attendance. County Treasurer Jennifer Henderson, County Clerk Mary Ann Gonzalez and County Attorney Clint Griffin were also present.

The next meeting of the Schleicher County Commissioners Court is slated for 9 a.m. on Monday, November 18, 2019, in the first floor meeting room of the county courthouse.