GILCHRIST — The four-year battle over the future of Rollover Pass appears to be entering it’s final phase as the county prepares to seek eminent domain to help the state shut down the popular Bolivar Peninsula fishing spot. Local activists and the association claiming ownership of the pass are promising a fight to the bitter end.
After Hurricane Ike wiped out almost all of Gilchrist in 2008, officials with the Texas General Land Office sought to shut down the pass, which was created in the mid-1950s through a public-private partnership to connect the Gulf with East Galveston Bay.
Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, citing erosion problems along the Gulf of Mexico side of Bolivar and more than $1 million annually the state spent on maintaining and dredging the pass, secured legislative approval and $6 million to close the pass. But members of the small but vocal Gilchrist Community Association and the Gulf Coast Rod, Reel and Gun Club — the private group that owns the land on either side of the 1,600-foot-long channel — are fighting the closure.
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