Council approved, by a 3-2 vote, an item to authorize Mayor Avinash Rangra to submit a petition to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to deny a Presidential Permit for the Trans-Pecos Pipeline.
It was one of three items on Tuesday’s agenda about the planned pipeline that would take natural gas from the Waha hub near Coyanosa to the Texas-Mexico border 12.5 miles upriver from Presidio. There, it would tunnel under the Rio Grande to meet with a Mexican pipeline that would take it to electric power generating plants and other industries in the interior.
The Alpine city council again moved next door to the Alpine Civic Center for its regular meeting Tuesday night because of expected discussions about the proposed Trans-Pecos Pipeline and, while the turnout was about half what it was two weeks ago, speakers were just as plentiful with nearly 20 coming to the lectern, some more than once.
The motion to approve Councilor Julian Gonzales’ resolution, which states that the pipeline “cuts through Brewster County, potentially endangering lives of 7,000 plus citizens in and around ‘Greater Alpine,’ ” appeared for several minutes to die for lack of a second. Then Councilor Cynthia Salas agreed to second the motion.
A similar resolution offered at the June 2 meeting failed to get the second needed for discussion and vote.
Salas said she hesitated to second the motion, then offered a substitute motion that the letter Rangra would write be submitted to the firm that serves as city attorney, McKamie Krueger of San Antonio. Then the letter vetted by the attorney would be brought before the city council for approval.
Gonzales agreed to the amendment and Councilor Nancy Antrim also voted for the amended motion with Councilors Jim “Fitz” Fitzgerald and Rick Stephens voting no.
An action to limit the sale of water to out-of-town commercial customers was tabled because of confusion over the wording. The original motion by Gonzales said “acres,” not acre-foot, and did not mention that it pertained to customers not in the city limits.
Gonzales said that he computed the price of water to customers like Pumpco, which has the contract to build the pipeline and has been buying water for its storage yard on FM 1703 and Ted Street. He determined that they were paying 2.5 cents per gallon.
His proposal would limit sales to one acre-foot, or 325,851, gallons per year.