by: Marco Ramirez
SAN BENITO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Residents living in the Palm Bishop Subdivision in rural San Benito are frustrated after they say a new neighbor put up a fence that now blocks the entrance to their street.
The residents reached out to ValleyCentral and tell us they have been dealing with this problem for more than three months, and their calls to Cameron County have gone unanswered.
Antonia Hernandez is one of the residents living in the neighborhood and it has been difficult to get in out of their street. A fence now blocks off the entrance of Ebony Rd. which intersects with FM-800.
“Suddenly decided they decided to close it off and I spoke to him, and he said it’s his,” Hernandez said “I’m closing it off you can’t come through here anymore that’s the bottom line.”
Hernandez claims Cameron County maintained that part of the road before the fence was put up. Now all the residents in the subdivision sent a petition to Precinct 4 demanding answers.
“The county was maintaining it, the public was maintaining it, taxpayers’ money was going into it,” said Resident Fernando Hernandez. “So now the Commissioner, he says that he can’t do anything about it.”
ValleyCentral did get a response from Precinct 4 Commissioner Gus Ruiz. Ruiz tells us he cannot force a resident to remove a fence they consider to be private property. Ruiz also added he would try to contact the property owner to see if they would consider removing the fence.
But the residents of Palm Bishop say those claims have also been made to them by Ruiz along with getting county engineers to assess the area, but nothing has been done at this time.
“We have concerns you know our school bus can’t come in here anymore and pick up the kids,” Hernandez said. “Today is a nice day but now the kids are being picked up that end and that is a half-mile road there. On rainy days, there is no way.”
While residents say the county has been telling them it can do very little about this situation, it is still raising many questions.
“Now the county is saying that it is not county road,” said Resident Paul Becerra. “So, in other words it is private road, so my tax dollars are going towards a private road?”
In the meantime, Hernandez and her neighbors will still be looking for a solution. If the fence cannot be removed the residents are still asking for turn around to be built in the neighborhood to make it easier for large vehicles like school buses and mail trucks to get out.
ValleyCentral has also reached out to the Cameron County Transportation Department to get more information on if anything will be done by county engineers on Ebony Rd. but have not heard back at this time.
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