Central Texas community gathers in prayer after contentious public meeting over potential rocket testing site

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 10:05 PM CDT
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MARLIN, Texas (KWTX) - On Monday, New Mexico-based X-Bow Systems Inc., or Crossbow, held a public meeting in Marlin exploring the possibility of locating a rocket test site in a remote area of Falls County.

The next day, the company said it would withdraw Falls County from its list of potential sites.

“That townhall meeting got a little out of control where a lot of threats were made,” Cedric Davis, Marlin’s City Manager, told KWTX.

“I was threatened to be lynched, not once but twice; I was called a communist; the CEO of X-Bow was called some homophobic innuendos,” Davis said.

“That was a little bit too much for the CEO,” he said.

He and other city officials held a prayer gathering on Sunday evening responding to the meeting.

“We have to work on uniting Marlin and let them know that we as a community have to show that we are more alike than we are not alike,” he said.

John Barrett, who moved to Marlin about a year ago, was at the prayer gathering.

“I’m dreadfully, dreadfully sad that it turned out this way,” he said.

He said the meeting could have turned out differently if more people with Marlin’s best interest spoke up.

“The question was asked, ‘What’s in it for Marlin? What’s in it for Marlin?’ The answer is the future. How is this city going to survive?” he said.

Business owner Mike Wilson says he remains optimistic that Marlin can attract new opportunities.

“Right now this is small town politics,” Wilson said.

“People have to start talking to each other,” he said.

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