Approximately 50 citizens attended the Stephenville City Council's public hearing Monday night on the request from Genuine Parts Company for a municipal setting designation (MSD).

Richard Varnell, environmental consultant of Cook-Joyce, Inc., and Bob Lewis, Genuine Parts Company's environmental and safety manager, answered a field of questions from council members and the public regarding the MSD.

Varnell said that if a MSD is denied, the clean up would take longer to complete. He said testing indicated that the trichloroethene is confined to the former Rayloc property and can be remediated, although no potable water can be drilled or used from the contaminated site which is 16 feet below surface at a specified location.

Citizens spoke both in favor and in opposition of the MSD.

Ed Horton, of Stephenville Economic Development Corporation, said the SEDC board voted that it was in the best interest of the community to approve the MSD.

Fibergrate's director of operations, Wendell Hollingsworth, said his company opposes the MSD. Fibergrate's property joins Rayloc.

“Most MSD approvals are for very large and valuable industrial sites,” he said. “The MSD would not make the property more marketable.” He said that the only remediation should be a full remediation, according to EPA policies for total clean up.

Joe Cooper, general manager of MTGCD, asked the council members to look at all sides of the issue before a decision is made. He said he had received calls from concerned citizens regarding the property's contamination.

Royce Carpenter of Stephenville, said he had received one of the 1,000 letters to registered water well owners located within five miles of the contaminated property.

“I am against the MSD,” Carpenter said. “If it leaks through concrete, why couldn't it leak through shell?”

Many citizens had questions regarding the issuance of the MSD and Mayor Rusty Jergins said that he would have a response to all questions prepared at the next public hearing on Dec. 4.

In other business the council:

€ Approved the Datamax annual report

€ Approved the 2008 street reconstruction project and the 2007-08 utility line improvements project

€ Approved the annexed project area's final design

The council also voted to authorize Hidell Associates to proceed with development of the floor plan and rendering for the public library.

At the Oct. 30 working session, Mayor Rusty Jergins suggested that the Optimist/Jaycee Park be considered as the primary location. Council approved the recommendation.

SHERRY BOARDMAN is a staff writer for the Empire-Tribune and can be reached at or 254-965-3124, ext. 229.