Wednesday, October 9 2013, 09:52 AM CDT
State moves ahead with plan to close Rollover Pass
BOLIVAR PENINSULA - by Ashley Gaston - KFDM news has learned the Texas General Land Office and Galveston County have signed a contract to close Rollover Pass.
In the letter, the state is asking Galveston County to begin buying homes and other property near the pass to clear the way for closing it.
Landowners say they plan to do everything they can to fight the order.
Casting lines and catching fish. That's why Jenny and Harold Driskell vacation in Rollover Pass.
"We caught 6 reds and 2 flounders, and she caught one red 36 inches," said Harold Driskell.
They travel here twice a year from Crockett in east Texas.
"You got a lot of hometown people who come here. They want to get away from people that live in the big towns," said Jenny.
The Driskells say the pass provides a peaceful place to kick back, bird watch and relax.
"It's one of the best places," said Driskell.
They say all that could change if the General Land Office closes the Pass.
"Were fighting to keep the pass open," said Ted Vega
Vega is the president of the Gilchrist Community Association. He is also speaking on behalf of one man who owns the land on both sides of the pass.
"The community does not like it. Taking Rollover Pass away is going to have a detrimental effect on all business in Gilchrist and all of Bolivar Peninsula," said Vega
The Land Office says the pass hurts the peninsula because it allows erosion to eat away at the coastline here.
The county says once it owns the land, the GLO will fill in the pass and spend $5 million on a park and a fishing pier.
"Would you go fishing on the pier? No, it would be too much trouble. Have to tote all your stuff out there; it wouldn't be worth coming out there," said Driskell.
Driskell says filling in the pass would send many of these people somewhere else, In search of a replacement for what many call one of the best fishing spots anywhere.
The man who owns the 21 acres doesn't plan to sell. The state can use eminent domain to seize the property but that could tie up the issue in courts.