People in Coryell County have been waiting 10 years for someone to clean up the estimated 750,000 tires on a property off Slater Road. The property owner took a big step Thursday to make that happen.
The Texas Veterans Land Boards has been responsible for the property for several years but they have been at a loss for how to get it cleaned up. When the money became available, the board sent out a request for proposals in July of 2017.
However, when it came time to approve the contractor selected, the board instead decided it was not confident in the estimate provided for the amount of tires: 9,000 tons of waste. Instead, the board voted to hire an engineering company to provide a more accurate estimate that would account for tires underground.
A crew came out Thursday to the property with a backhoe to dig in the area and look for those underground tires. Another crew will be on the property in the following week to assess the tires with a drone.
Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Harrell has long had concerns about the danger the tires pose to the area. But now those dangers are one step closer to being resolved.
"The fire hazard is very bad because once these tires catch on fire it would last for months," Harrell said. "The mosquito-born illnesses, west Nile, Zika, it's been a danger."
The Texas Veterans Land Board will meet on October 27th for a quarterly meeting. At that meeting the board will decide whether to go forward with the original cleanup bid.