Coryell County tire cleanup held up again

Andrew Moore reports.

CORYELL COUNTY - Coryell County is getting sick and tired of tires.

A local 40-acre property has an estimated 700,000 of them and they can even be seen from space.

But a bid to clean up the mess has been held up again.

The property is located along FM 1783 near Gatesville has a mess of tires and the county said it poses a real danger.

“If those tires caught on fire, not only is it a problem for Coryell County, but for Bell County and the Fort Hood area,” Robert Harrell, Coryell Emergency Management Coordinator said.

But whose mess is it?

Well the property is owned by the Texas Veterans Land Board, and while they didn’t put the tires there, they have been looking for ways to clean it up since 2003.

Thursday morning, they were supposed to approve the money to do just that.

“We believe that the bid is feasible given our estimate,” Harrell said.

The board would have paid a local construction company almost $2.2 million to remove the 9,000 tons of tires the board estimated for.

“There is a question on whether our estimate is accurate,” Harrell said. “the estimate is based on site observation, visual observation”

They said, they aren’t completely sure how many tires there are underground on the property. If they are wrong, it will affect the contract- a move that left the community baffled.

“It’s been 13 years, if they haven’t counted them by now, what’s the holdup?,” Harrell said.

Resident Kevin Wiley said it is a little counterproductive in his opinion to pay someone to dig up tires.

He lives on the property next door and said trying to get a number is a lost cause.

“They truly have no way to know because a lot of those tires have been buried for 20 years,” Wiley said.

While the tires are now woven into the trees and shrubs of the area, the board is willing to spend another $100,000 making sure their job description is accurate.

Wiley and other locals are still waiting for action, instead of words.

“It sounds encouraging but to me they are not really stepping up the plate and doing what they need to do,” Wiley said.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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