McLennan Co commissioners delay action on proposal to keep trespassers out of ‘criminal playground’ at Tradinghouse

HALLSBURG, Texas (KWTX) – Kevin Kuretch has waited six years to get help from county officials about trespassers using a private road near his property to access Tradinghouse Creek Reservoir.

After McLennan County commissioners adjourned Tuesday, it will have to wait a little longer to hear about the county’s proposal to install a fence on county property between Kuretch’s land and the lakeshore in an attempt to block access to what Kuretch ” playground of criminals”.

Kuretsch used the first three minutes of the public comment portion of the commissioners’ meeting to ask the county to give up Luminant Energy’s right-of-way to the county when it demolishes the old lake power plant and gives it away or sells it. 1.3 hectares of land for him.

Kuretch owns about two acres along Redfish Lane, a private road that runs into Tradinghouse Creek Reservoir near Holsburg in eastern McLennan County. The county owns the land between his property and the lake.

Kuretsch, 62, a real estate investor, grew up swimming, fishing and boating on the lake, and said his father worked for 41 years at the former Texas Power & Light utility on the lake, which was then owned by Luminant. His dream was to own land on the lake and build a nursing home there.

However, he has complained to county officials for years that his dream retirement home has been vandalized by partiers, drug addicts and convicted felons who use private roads to access the county’s beaches.

Commissioners acknowledged Tuesday that the private nature of the highway leading to the lake complicates the issue. Precinct 4 Commissioner Ben Perry and District Judge Scott Felton settled it into a civil matter between Kuretch and his three neighbors who live across Redfish Lane.

They said if the commissioners gave or sold the land to Kuretch, who only owns the middle of his private road, people would still be able to access the lake by driving down the middle of the road owned by his neighbors.

Kuretch has offered to pay for the study, an 8-foot fence, lighting, signs, security cameras, a gate and locks, which he said would solve the problem at no cost to the county.

He told commissioners that the patrol the county is proposing would only encourage trespassers to stop on his property, cross the barrier and go to the lakeshore.

“The ban you’re discussing this morning does not protect me from harm,” Kuretch said. “Convicted felons and the like will stop by my property with their drugs, alcohol and violence. This is a deadly recipe. Please leave this 1.3 acre lot before someone is seriously injured or killed.”

After buying the land, Kuretsch said, he cleared a large pile of construction debris, mowed the strip of weeds and removed more than 50 tires from the water. He said that border guards destroyed a metal building of his property and shot it.

“People are driving off my private road and then going to the beach through my private property onto the abandoned county line,” Kuretch said. “I kept this abandoned property for six years where there was an attempted murder in 2011. The same place where someone tried to run me over with a truck on November 2, 2021. In August, a car was pulled from a lake. And my friend James Pavelka and I pulled a 54 wheeler out of a lake bed. When I’m on my property I have to be armed and have a witness. The sheriff’s office has done nothing to me in six years and (Sheriff) Parnell McNamara has answered my phone calls did not answer.”

McNamara, who attended Tuesday’s hearing, previously told KWTX that the area near Redfish Lane “has been a really bad area for years.”

He said his department responded to every call for service from the area and said his deputies were “above and beyond trying to help Mr. Kuretch.”

“Sometimes people don’t like the result, but we’re going to do our best and we’re going to do it,” McNamara said.

Felton, who owns property on the other side of the lake, said he has heard from a number of other lake property owners who are in favor of keeping the status quo. He said TP&L, and later Luminant, refused to allow them to make improvements on their property within the right-of-way, such as retaining walls, fishing piers and boat docks. However, the power company has never followed through on its property rights, and improvements remain, he said.

Commissioners discussed the situation for about 45 minutes before Precinct 2 Commissioner Pat Miller, whose watershed includes Tradinghouse Creek Reservoir and a 180-acre county park there, adjourned the matter so he could investigate the matter. spend extra.

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