From the Banks of Sandy Creek
A material plant moves in?

The Austin Chronicle
JULY 13, 2018

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It’s called Sandy Creek for a reason. It’s fairly long and, coming up to its mouth, pretty wide, and like many Hill Country creeks, when it’s not flooding, it usually has a little bit of water and quite a bit of sand. It’s pretty, though, largely unspoiled as it runs through farm and ranch land in Llano County before it empties into Lake LBJ, between Sunrise Beach and Horseshoe Bay.

The farmers and ranchers, several of whom have owned their land for multiple generations, are vexed right now by a prospective new neighbor – a sizable sand and gravel plant that would be digging and crushing rocks in and around the creek. Collier Materials, a local firm based in Marble Falls, wants to relocate an existing plant in Llano to a spot on Sandy Creek, just north of the Texas 71 bridge.

To do this, Collier needs permits from the Texas Commission on Environmental Qual­ity, the Lower Colorado River Author­i­ty, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Depart­ment, the Army Corps of Engineers (because Sandy Creek is considered navigable), and Llano County’s floodplain management team. An application with TCEQ has already been filed, and the agency is taking public comment through July 17.

“98% of the people out here support us, and the 2% who don’t own lake houses.” – Fermín Ortiz
Collier faces a flood of opposition from neighbors and other stakeholders, who’ve organized as Save Sandy Creek (, which has a link to the TCEQ comment form) and taken their case to the Llano County Commissioners Court and the Sunrise Beach Village City Coun­cil, both of which issued resolutions firmly opposing Collier’s plans. “In the paper Collier said there was no opposition from the neighbors,” says Fermín Ortiz, whose property straddles Sandy Creek and adjoins the proposed site. “That was news to us, since we hadn’t been asked.”……

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Above Photo: Sandy Creek (Courtesy of Fermín Ortiz)