Commissioners hear concerns over proposed utility zone

BURNET — Worries among residents are growing over a local attorney’s plans to create a municipal utility district near Fairland, but the county’s hands are tied, officials said Tuesday.

“Our concern is to make sure all the surrounding people are protected,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Bill Neve said during the Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will hold a public meeting on the MUD 9:30 a.m. March 30 in Austin at 12100 Park 35 Circle.

“I don’t know where this (proposed MUD application) is going to go,” Neve said. “We (the commissioners) do not have much authority to change or request anything, but I do hope TCEQ understands our concerns.”

Residents are afraid the operation could adversely affect land and water use, the commissioners heard. Neighbors also fear their properties could be claimed through eminent domain and their aquifer could be threatened, they said.

Marble Falls attorney and geologist Andy Carson wants TCEQ approval to create Backbone Creek Municipal Utility District No.1 near Fairland, the Timber Ridge subdivision and railroad tracks close to CR 120.

The proposed MUD contains an inactive quarry on 103 acres over four tracts of land that can produce non-drinking water for various uses, according to Carson’s petition.

However, several residents object to the proposed MUD, Timber Ridge Property Owners Association President Ron Saidikowski told the commissioners.

The association is concerned the MUD might annex or condemn Timber Ridge properties in the future through eminent domain, Saidikowski said.

Under law, eminent domain allows a government or its agents to claim private property for a fair price.

“That is a serious problem for us, and it is probably what we object to the most,” he added.

The association is also uneasy about how much groundwater the MUD will pump from the nearby Granite Gravel Aquifer.

“It (the aquifer) could be impacted by a large outtake of water,” Saidikowski said. “We don’t know that for certain.”

Carson told him he is willing to install monitoring wells to help the Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District determine if pumping operations in the MUD have an impact on surrounding water supplies, CTGCD General Manager Richard Bowers said.

In other news, the commissioners instructed Elections Administrator Barbara Agnew to establish a polling station for the May 8 election at the Hoover Valley Volunteer Fire Department, 303 Sherwood Drive.

The election is for the proposed Emergency Services District No. 3 in the Hoover’s Valley area, officials said.

Early voting for the election is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 26-28, 7 a.m-7 p.m. April 29, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 30, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. May 3 and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 4 at the Courthouse on the Square and the Marble Falls Courthouse Annex, 810 Steve Hawkins Parkway in Marble Falls.

Also during the meeting, the commissioners:

 

  • Approved Roxanne Nelson as the new county associate/magistrate judge.
  • Approved bond for DeAnne Michelle Fisher, hot check assistant.
  • Approved the name for the road south of Double Creek Road through Smithwick that connects to CR 344 as Business RR 1431.
  • Accepted the annual report of the Burnet County Historical Commission.
  • Approved a contract with PropertyRoom.com Inc. for the disposal of property confiscated or seized by the Sheriff’s Office and Special Operations Unit.
  • Approved submission of a “letter of interest” to the Texas Veterans Commission for a veterans transportation grant.
  • Approved a request from the First Methodist Church of Burnet to hold a sunrise service 6:50 a.m. April 4 at the Burnet Courthouse on the Square, 220 S. Pierce St.

 

raymond@thepicayune.com

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