STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
Burnet County commissioners approved a plan to allocate a $100,000 donation from the Lower Colorado River Authority beginning in January when the lakes are lowered.
When the LCRA gave Burnet and Llano counties each $100,000 in late October, it requested that 70 percent of the money go toward debris removal from the water.
Burnet County’s committee decided to allocate the 70 percent toward trash receptacles for municipalities and unincorporated areas to apply to use when lakes LBJ and Marble Falls are lowered in January.
The receptacles will not be provided for individual use; however, the county will accept applications from property owner’s associations or a combined group of homeowners in an area.
No county resources will be available for the project. The county will provide the receptacles and applicants are responsible for filling them.
The application process will open Jan. 7, 2019, when the lakes are lowered and municipalities and property owners can see what debris is in the lakebed. Cleanup efforts should begin Jan. 14 and be completed by Feb. 28, when the LCRA will begin refiling the lakes.
The county used a formula for the 70 percent of LCRA’s donation based on the number of houses damaged in an area. Commissioners’ recommendation allocates $20,000 to unincorporated areas and Granite Shoals, $15,000 to Marble Falls, and $5,000 each to Cottonwood Shores, Highland Haven, and Meadowlakes.
The remaining 30 percent of the funds — $30,000 — will be applied to household waste removal, refrigerant disposal, and monitoring.
“The $100,000 is woefully underfunding the needs that will be required to put these lakes back in order,” said Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Don Dockery. “We’re trying to allocate this as a committee in a fair and reasonable fashion so we felt like not only municipalities had some representation but also the unincorporated areas.”
The county will allocate money to applicants until funds are depleted.
“Any cleanup effort outside the money given from LCRA needs to be referred back to LCRA once we’ve expended what we’ve got here,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Jim Luther.
Also in the meeting, commissions heard an update on finding a debris removal contractor for 15,500 cubic yards of debris at a temporary site near Granite Shoals City Hall. County staff continue to evaluate those bids, according to Director of Development Services Herb Darling.