Oct 132016

In the wake of the Brexit vote to determine of England should leave the EU, a young Brit said we are now living in a “post-factual age.” The longer the campaign to rebuild Cape’s Dam goes on, the more I am willing to agree that we have somehow entered a post-truth era, where blatant misrepresentation masquerades as fact.

What is sadly true is that many well-meaning people, who want to see the health of the river enhanced, have been misled into believing that an unnatural structure such as the dam supports and improves the natural environment of the river. They have been led by constant repetition to believe the attacks on science and scientists, rather than the science. Truth has always been a tool for solving our issues, and science has been for centuries a way to determine truth. It is under attack right here in our own little town.

What would lead anyone to mount and maintain such an attack? We cannot look into the hearts and minds of those that wage wars against truth and science. We can guess what may motivate them, but we will never know. We can, however, see who would benefit from a successful campaign to rebuild Cape’s Dam.

A look at the Hays County Appraisal District, http://esearch.hayscad.com/ , is most illuminating. Begin with property id R143800. No surprise here, if you are familiar with the area. It is where The Woods Apartments are. The owner is The Woodlands of San Marcos, LLC, a company out of Athens, Georgia. Who owns the bank opposite the corporate property of Woodlands of San Marcos, LLC? Go back to http://esearch.hayscad.com/ , and enter property id R141838. The answer is The Woodlands of San Marcos, LLC. One could step off the corporate property of The Woodlands of San Marcos, LLC, right on to Cape’s Dam.

We don’t need to find a trail of dollars from Athens, Georgia, to San Marcos to see now why The Woodlands of San Marcos, LLC, would love to see an amenity built with public money at this point in the river. Even if you don’t care about the environmental health of the river, you should be concerned about public money for private gain.

Make no mistake, rebuilding Cape’s Dam would be public money for private gain. The clients of the corporate owners of R143800 and R141838, whether they remain The Woodlands of San Marcos, LLC, have privileged access to this part of the river. For those of us not living in The Woods apartments, we can’t see the dam, and it is a long walk from non-corporate property. To get to it, the rest of us have to park on River Road, in one of the few parking spaces on Cape’s Road, or in the Blanco Gardens neighborhood. We then have to walk around The Woods Apartments either in the direction of the frontage road of IH 35 or from Capes Road. After looping around the apartments in either direction, you will still have roughly a 1/3 mile walk to find the dam. From The Woodlands of San Marcos, LLC, it is maybe 600 feet.

A rebuilt dam would be little more than an amenity for the residents of The Woods apartments, and whatever gets built on the opposite bank. It would greatly enhance the property values of The Woodlands of San Marcos, LLC. We will never know what motivates the local leaders of the misleading effort to rebuild the dam. It is enough to know that private interests will gain the most benefit from the expenditure of public money. We should all stand against public money for private gain.

Paul Murray

 Posted by at 8:47 pm

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