The company behind the Trans Pecos Pipeline announced nearly $3 million in donations this week to counties and projects in West Texas where the pipeline either crosses or is near. Carlos Morales reports the donations benefit areas that were both hesitant and welcoming of the pipeline.
Of the 6 donations, the largest one is just over a $1 million and will go towards Presidio’s efforts to expand its recreational facilities. Officials in Presidio have long supported the pipeline project, seeing it as an economic boost even though its path doesn’t cross through the border town.
Presidio’s mayor John Ferguson says, the donations are a showing of goodwill.
“We’ve tried to support them, there’s been some goodwill there,” Ferguson said. “And so, when this announcement was made we were absolutely tickled as we could be.”
Presidio County itself will also see a donation. The county will receive $500,000. County Judge Cinderella Guevara told the Big Bend Gazette the donation is the “largest gift in the 142-year history of the county’s existence.”
“The Commissioners and I will work to put this money where it will provide the most benefit to every taxpayer and citizen,” she told the paper.
Other beneficiaries include Jeff Davis County, which will see a $300,000 donation. It’s unsure how the county will use the gifts, but part of it will be used to purchase a second ambulance, which officials say will help their neighboring communities in Presidio and Brewster as well. The Trans-Pecos Pipeline edges close to the Jeff Davis county boundary, where it travels underground through Brewster County.
Additionally, the town of Alpine and Brewster County – areas where people were somewhat hesitant towards the pipeline development – are also receiving funds. The Alpine public library will see a $170,000 donation to go towards its renovation efforts. Don Wetterauer is their director. He says the pipeline is now a reality of the area.
“It’s here, it’s working and if we can take advantage of that to better parts of our community, I guess we should,” Wetterauer said.
The city of Alpine will also receive a $400,000 gift.
In a press release, Brewster County Judge Eleazar Cano said the donation was the result of relationship building, adding that when news of the pipeline was first announced he needed to “remain professional and see the development as an opportunity for relationship building versus choosing to be oppositional and resistant.”
county had remained neutral since the inception of the pipeline, adding in the beginning he needed to “remain professional and see the development as an opportunity for relationship building versus choosing to be oppositional and resistant.”
“Due to the conscious effort to keep the lines of communication between Brewster County and the Trans-Pecos Pipeline open and civil, we were able to work together for the benefit of Brewster County,” Cano said.