By Marc Robertson
The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Cotulla and Cotulla ISD are issuing a caution to local residents this week in advance of groundbreaking and land clearing along North Baylor Street, where wildlife may be disturbed and animals could move into populated areas.
The ground is being prepared for construction of Cotulla’s new elementary school. Heavy equipment should be moved into the area this week and brush clearing will begin shortly in order that survey crews may assess the property’s topography.
According to Cotulla ISD Superintendent Dr. Jack Seals on Thursday, wildlife that has already been identified in the hitherto undeveloped area includes deer, wild hogs and snakes.
North Baylor Street runs between Medina Street and the IH-35 access road and was built less than ten years ago for commercial and residential development related to the energy industry over the Eagle Ford Shale. The proposed development area lies directly to the south of the Las Palmas business park, between North Baylor and Main Street. Portions of the territory earmarked for the school construction project have never been developed and have been left to grow wild since the road was built.
“There is some thick brush in the area beyond the acreage that was used for RV hookups,” Supt. Seals said Thursday. “We know that there are animals in that area and that these may be displaced by the development. We don’t want people to be alarmed, and we hope that drivers and pedestrians will be watchful.”
“We want people to be aware that wildlife will be on the move, and that animals may wander onto private property in that area,” Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez said. “This includes the Madison Pointe apartments and areas along Medina Street.
“Some wild animals have already been seen in the area,” the sheriff said. “We want people to be on the lookout and to take precautions for the safety of their own children and pets during this first stage of the construction, which will be land clearing.”