Athens Review, Athens, Texas

June 25, 2013

Cattle guard rules set

County resolution passes for standards regarding construction of barriers

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Henderson County, where the cattle population is not too far behind the number of people, now has a set of specifications for cattle guards.

The Henderson County Commissioners Court voted 4-1 to adopt the rules, with Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Lawrence opposed. Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin, whose precinct has seven cattle guards, presented the plan to the court.

The resolution passed by the court states that unless the cattle guard constitutes a public purpose, installation and maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner.  The materials and design of the cattle guard in the Henderson County plan are similar to the ones adopted in Comal County in 2012.

Lawrence opposed the policy stating that he doesn’t think cattle guards should be on county roads at all. Lawrence said he has at times asked land owners if he could remove the cattle guards and pave the roads.

“Once you put one in, it’s hard to get rid of it,” Lawrence said.

County Attorney Clint Davis said the county can remove a cattle guard, but at the county’s expense.

The Texas Transportation Code states, “The commissioners court shall establish plans and specifications for a standard cattle guard to be used on the county roads. The plans and specifications must be plainly written and supplemented by drawings as necessary and must be available for inspection by the residents of the county.  The specifications will be on file in the county clerk’s office.”

According to the code, to remove a cattle guard, Commissioners Court must notify each person who owns land adjacent  to the cattle guard by certified mail not less than 90 days before the proposed removal of the cattle guard.

In another item on the short agenda, Commissioners authorized the payment of bills in the amount of $148,443.43. The vote was 4 to 1, with Lawrence opposed.