Coryell County works to find solution to tire problem

Kurtis Quillin reports.

CORYELL COUNTY - Hundreds of thousands of abandoned tires on a rural Coryell County property has been causing concerns.

Coryell County Attorney Brandon Belt told Channel 6 he’s been working to find a solution for eight years.

The problem is a state agency owns the land and nobody wants to pay for them to be removed.

Belt said he first began hearing complaints from people who live near the property on FM 1783 in 2008. The next year, he started working with the Texas Veterans Land Board who owns the property and the Texas Commission Environmental Quality to find a solution.

As recently as October 2016, Belt said they were set to go on removing the tires from the lot for about $1.3 million. Not long after, the bid fell through and they were back where they had been for almost 10 years.

Belt said the tires were gathered legally by someone who owned the property from 1996 until it was foreclosed on by the Veterans Land Board in 2004. He also said they are currently being stored illegally by the current land owner, the Texas Veterans Land Board.

Coryell County can’t sue the state of Texas and it is a unique problem Belt is hoping to resolve soon.

“Y’all own this piece of property and we can’t do anything to you because you’re the state of Texas,” he said. “If any crime was occurring presently it would be for illegal storage of the tires which is done by a state agency.”

The two biggest concerns on the issue from the county attorney’s office are if the tires or that property catch on fire. Belt said he’s always scared a fire out there would burn for days and mosquito-borne illnesses because the tires hold water which gives them a breeding ground.

Both of those are grounds for the county to sue and get it cleaned up if it was a private land owner.

Belt is hoping they can work on a grant application for this summer to get federal funding and get it done as soon as possible. 

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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