HIGHLAND LAKES NEWS BYTES: Rain, downtown upkeep, falling fuel prices

COMPILED BY CONNIE SWINNEY

In Highland Lakes headlines, recent rains spark interest on a drought update, two police agencies take aim at crime in their neighborhoods and two cities provide updates on revitalization projects connected to historic districts. These DailyTrib.com stories and more are coming up Friday, Jan. 23, on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune.

Not enough rain

Recent wet weather has done little to break the grip of the drought, which has led to historic low inflows and dwindling reservoir levels, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The area would need to either experience a so-called rain bomb with 20-plus inches of steady continuous rain accumulated during several days or a series of 5-inch rain events on a frequent schedule. Read more about the current drought here.

Revitalizing downtown Marble Falls

Marble Falls city officials launch a downtown revitalization project by setting up a Tax-Increment Financing zone (TIF) board to re-appropriate tax dollars currently collected in the zone to upgrade blighted areas of downtown such as sidewalks and right-of-ways. The city released a list of board members who are all property owners in the zone. Appointed were Lori Brix, Charles Johnstone, Scott Martin, Rebecca Nunnally, Terry Pilley, Dave Plante and Kyle Stripling to fill six of the seven vacancies.

Watching out for Cottonwood Shores

Cottonwood Shores police rekindle interest in a neighborhood-watch program and unveil some of the crime issues the community is facing. The program developed from a recent community forum sponsored by the agency. Officials have offered residents vehicle stickers and signs for a visual buy-in to the program and an invitation to provide more tips on criminal behavior. The agency considers domestic violence, animal control issues and illegal drugs among its top concerns.

Falling fuel prices

The oil-and-gas industry has taken a hit because of tumbling fuel prices, according to a Blanco County business owner who makes a living selling oil. The consequences involve numerous layoffs across the state, industry owners slashing expenses and the potential for plummeting property values, which would affect funding for school districts and road projects. For the past several months, a freefall has resulted in per-barrel prices dipping from about $100 to less than $50 per barrel.

Craddick House move postponed

Steady rain has postponed the move of the historic Craddick House in Burnet. The home, which is more than 100 years old, is scheduled to be moved from Boundary Street at the intersection of Jackson Street adjacent to the square, to Airy Mount on Texas 29 east of the city, where the owner has proposed refurbishing the structure into a bed-and-breakfast. Officials changed the move date from Jan. 24 to Feb. 1.

Horseshoe Bay targets crime with traffic stops

Horseshoe Bay police nab more suspects in a traffic-interdiction program launched in response to a violent attack by a construction worker last year at a local residence. Authorities increased traffic stops in January and say their goal is to decrease the amount of criminal behavior or “transient” individuals connected to bad behavior. With the latest string of arrests Jan. 15, officers have primarily reported drug-related charges such as possession of marijuana, methamphetamines and paraphernalia as well as traffic violations such as invalid driver’s license violations and warrants from other agencies.

Tune in at 6, 7 and 8 a.m. and 4, 5 and 6 p.m. on Jan. 23 to hear these stories on KBEY 103.9 FM or listen online at KBEYFM.com for the news headlines in the Highland Lakes.

connie@thepicayune.com

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