Serving Kerr County with a Conscience
Water Petition

Taxpayers Take Note!

Taxpayers Take Note!
You may soon be asked to pay for the cost of collecting data when developers are drilling privately owned permitted “public” wells in Kerr County.  The term “public” just means that the well extends into the Trinity Aquifers.   Up to now, the developer of the public well has paid for the data logging equipment usage and a geologists time to collect the data and submit it to the Headwaters Groundwater Conservation Board.  Costs can range from $4000 to $6000.  I believe both conservative and more liberal thinking citizens can agree that the developer, who will obviously benefit the most from a successful project, should pay for the data collection.  Developers pay for other costs including streets, sewer, curb, park space, etc. that they recover from those who buy into or rent portions of their development. 
 
Kerr County has one of the outstanding hydrogeological pictures of the aquifers and well water supplies of any county in Texas.  HGCD has monitor wells in place paid for by taxpayer funds.  They are monitoring several privately owned wells with the cooperation of well owners.  The water in our deep aquifers may take 2000 years to recharge.  We may now be in a 30 year drought cycle.  Good science can help us manage our water supply.  Present and new water users will pay to keep good data collection science in ongoing.  Let’s  have the developers pay to collect the data for new wells coming on line.
 
Mark your calendars for October 19(Hearing on Rescinding Rule 8.5) and November 9th(the HGCD Board will vote to Rescind Rule 8.5)  I know that about 75% of the voters in Kerr County tend be conservative voters and desire to keep the individualistic entrepreneurial spirit alive.  Now is the time to attend the above meetings and let the HGCD Board of Directors know that developers should pay their own way.  If a $5000 data collection cost related to developing a $100,000 to $250,000 “public” well would nix a developer’s project then the developer should review the business plan.  Spread over a 100 home project the cost is $50 per home.  These seemingly minor costs passed to the taxpayer can result over time in less money available for your children and grandchildren’s education.  Education in Texas is a better investment right now than providing more financial incentives to developers.
 
Gary C. McVey, Former Prec. 1 Director, HGCD 
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***TAXPAYER WATER ALERT***

A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19 to gain public opinion on Headwaters Groundwater Conservation District board member Pratt's proposal to switch the cost of well sample collection and analysis from new subdivision drillers to the HGCD thus the taxpayers of Kerr County.

Attention Private Well Owners:  Calls to Kerr County   Conscience indicate a continuing pattern of misinformation by the usual suspects i.e. a few unscrupulous developers, realtors and investors in Kerr County.  The unfortunate pattern is to convince private well owners the HGCD is trying to meter, regulate pumping or assess fees to current or new private wells.  That is not the issue.

The Issue:  If Mr. Pratt's proposal passes the cost of well samples and analysis for large well permits (new subdivision/commercial/industrial development) will become the responsibility of the HGCD and thus the county taxpayers.  Under current rules the driller/developer pays the cost of collection and analysis.  

Background:  Development, whether residential or commercial needs to take place where there is an adequate well water supply.  Unlike surrounding counties our Kerr County Commissioner's Court does not require new subdivision developers to establish a reliable water source before building.  The HGCD is largely dependent upon well samples to determine areas of future sustainable water sources within the county.  This information is currently obtained by securing well samples during the drilling of new large permitted wells which are usually for a new subdivision and public water supply for the subdivision.  The information collected does not affect the well being drilled but allows for mapping of availability and future planning and wise development within the county.   A fee for the collection and analysis of the well sample is $4000 to $6000 currently paid by the driller/developer.  There is no such requirement for domestic well drilling only those developments/new public water systems with multiple connections or pumping huge amounts of water.  
 
Questions: 1)  Should the county taxpayers bear the expense of well samples for large water systems who will be selling the water for profit to the new subdivision residents thus  making a profit from the same taxpayers main water supply--- the Trinity Aquifer?
  2)  Can you expect private well owners as taxpayers to bear the expense of well samples and also live with the new subdivision residents next door pumping their aquifer to the point of depletion? 
  3) Do county residents deserve appropriate data collection to assure reasonable growth where there is a reliable water source?
  
Beware:  Board member Pratt has been joined by board president, Gordan Morgan, in suggesting we may not need this information at all.  Just stop collecting the samples.  
 1) Would the absence of any absolute scientific information on groundwater stores in the county lead to the same unplanned growth and water shortages Kendall County is experiencing.  

2) Is it fair to sell new county residents property without a reliable water source supported by scientific data?

Taxpayers should attend this meeting to voice their opinions. Developers, realtors, and investors will be there in force and they carry a lot of weight with some board members.

October 19th 1:30pm UGRA building

F. Lovett
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Center Point Wastewater/Water Project

          Some time ago Commissioner Bill Williams held a public meeting in Center Point announcing a proposed sewage project which would collect and transport raw sewage along a pipeline north of Highway 27 to the Comfort wastewater treatment plant.  Later Commissioners Williams and Letz  found a property owner willing to sell land for a sewage treatment plant in Center Point----thus the project expanded to a sewage treatment plant in Center Point.
            The Upper Guadalupe River Authority has been working on a water project for the Center Point Area for several years.  Their proposal includes using  their river pumping rights to pull water from the river, treat the water, store it in an ASR and sell it wholesale to the public water systems in the area such as Aqua Texas and Weidenfeld Water Works.
             Now the two projects seem to have merged or perhaps the original or total plan was just not revealed at the Center Point meeting which served as the required public hearing for the sewage project.  
             We now know the targeted property for the sewage treatment plant (County Commissioners) and water treatment plant (UGRA) is across from the Center Point little league fields.  The water will be drawn from the Center Point Lions Park Lake.  One of the public water supply systems has a dry well which is being considered for the ASR storage.  The additional cost to each individual residential water user in Center Point has been projected to be $70 per month when last mentioned.
            Environmental Impact studies and archeological studies must be done before such projects can move forward.  The Texas Water Development Board staff has required such studies from the UGRA but our UGRA Board of Directors has now gone around the TWDB staff and sent a letter directly to the TWDB Board of Directors asking them to intervene and allow the water treatment plant to use the studies from the wastewater project.  
            Have environmental impact and archeological studies already been done on the county commissioners sewer project?  Does the grant money we were told about at the Center Point hearing really pay all the costs of this monumental project?   What is the real impact of locating these plants on the Highway 27 corridor?   Should Center Point and Kerr County citizens be given an open hearing and update on these projects? 

It would be helpful if knowledgeable citizens would go to the project proposal at the website below and check for accuracy.  The data was collected in 2006 and projected through 2011.

http://204.64.181.50/RWPG/rpgm_rpts/0604830607_kerr.pdf

Arial view of proposed site location.

https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=1d3b1df30e&view=att&th=1326fe9837f5b28c&attid=0.1&disp=inline&zw

F. Lovett
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