August 4, 2006
The article infers that John Allen is retiring to his ranch and the paving of Box Canyon Road will result in loss of his heritage. Actually, Allen lives many miles from the ranch and is rarely seen on the property.
The county used county and state funds to maintain the road for many years before the Allens claimed it was a private road.
Because Val Verde is not a rich county, efforts of subdivision residents resulted in receipt of a $4.5 million federal grant. To permit the paving process, Allen wanted $1,242,000.
Mostly elderly, retired people live in these subdivisions. 9-1-1 calls are periodically required and emergency vehicles are substantially delayed by the pot-holed road, which is dusty and necessitates travel at a snail's pace. The county has agreed to fence the road, install cattleguards, provide water wells in isolated pastures and pay reasonable damages. Allen has refused.
The federal government, TxDOT, Val Verde County officials, subdivision residents and the general public all favor paving this road. Condemnation proceedings are fully warranted.
Editor's Note: Attempts to reach Charlie Featherston by telephone failed. His membership number, included in his letter, indicates his address is in Andrews, Texas, and his membership is in Mills County.