Martindale residents worry about tubing industry's impact

MARTINDALE -- When John McComb bought his Martindale home 14-years-ago, he expected to find peace and quiet in the tiny community just outside San Marcos.

"Before it was a little country place out here where your kids could ride bikes down the road and you knew all your neighbors and it was really safe," said McComb.

But all that changed several years ago, he says, when outfitters renting tubes opened along the San Marcos River.

He says traffic generated by the tubing companies forced his family to stop walking in their neighborhood on the weekends. Despite newly installed speed bumps, he says there are still issues with speeding. And then there's the unexpected visitors.

"Late at night...people get lost. They come up out of the river drunk, disoriented. They come onto our property, they knock on our doors sometimes, say 'help me, where am I at?' It's disturbing," said McComb.

While his proximity to the river used to be a perk, now it's a problem. And he's expecting it to get even worse this weekend.

When KVUE contacted the Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office Thursday, Sheriff Arnold Zwieke said the latest ticket sales showed about 6,000 people were attending a Labor Day weekend concert and float party called 'Float Fest.'

While San Marcos police and the Hays County Sheriff's Office say they have no plans to increase patrols this Labor Day weekend, the Caldwell and Guadalupe sheriff's offices say they are preparing for Float Fest.

Zwieke says his department plans to overlap shifts on Sunday, to allow more deputies to be on patrol at once.

He also said event organizers have been proactive about safety, hiring thirty five security guards and eleven off duty deputies for the event at Cool River Ranch. Event organizers have secured permits for the event, and say they've gone above and beyond the requirements to ensure safety and cleanliness at the event.

Zwieke says he feels for the plight of property owners who fear they'll be disturbed by the thousands of visitors.

"I wouldn't want them in my backyard. But I'm to uphold peace and keep the law. That's what my job is going to be," said the sheriff.

But McComb questions whether law enforcement can be prepared.

"There is no where near enough law enforcement even if you include Caldwell and Guadalupe County," said McComb, sighting the limited resources of both agencies.

But his biggest gripe is the noise. Float Fest is primarily an outdoor concert event. McComb says even with fans on and the air conditioner running, live music from Cool River Ranch still seeps into his living room.

"It's unbelievable," said McComb.

Now, the San Marcos pastor says he wants to consider selling the home where he raised his family.

"I don't feel like we can sell our home right now for what we have in it," said McComb. "In other words, it has adversely affected our property value."


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment