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The Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District will hold public hearings on a tax rate increase for fiscal year 2022-23 and a groundwater use permit adjustment at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept.12, at 225 S. Pierce St., #104, in Burnet. 

The proposed tax rate of 0.0057 cents per $100 evaluation is a slight increase from the no-new-revenue value of 0.0056 cents per $100 evaluation.

“Expenses are going up, everything is going up,” said Ryan Rowney, pPresident of the district’s Board of Directors. “Having said that, we want to take care of our employees. We want to minimize any impact that we can and still cover all of our costs.”

The Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District is a tax-collecting government entity that manages groundwater use in Burnet County. Its duties include permitting high-use wells, collecting data on groundwater use, setting drought stages, and setting regulations for groundwater use.

The proposed tax rate increase is well below the voter-approval tax rate, meaning that the district might adopt the proposed rate without a public election. The public hearing on Sept. 12 allows for comment in support of or opposition to the tax rate change. 

The district also will hold a preliminary public hearing regarding an adjustment to a groundwater use permit for the community of Deer Springs in western Burnet County. Deer Springs Water Company is seeking an increase of 16.78 acre-feet of water to its permitted annual usage. This will bring the total permitted amount to 41.28 acre-feet.

Deer Spring Water Company is permitted to use 24.5 acre-feet of water annually, but it exceeded this amount by 3.6 acre-feet in 2018 and by 5.8 acre-feet in 2019. In 2020, the water company was notified of its violations and presented with two options: decrease water use or adjust its permit for more water. The Deer Springs community had since grown too large to reduce its water usage, so the company pursued an adjustment to its permit.

Adjustments to the permit will be determined by the district’s board based upon recommendations from the district General Manager Mitchell Sodek and other information. 

To request a contested case hearing, an applicant must submit a written request at least seven days prior to the hearing date. 

For more information on the Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District, the tax rate increase, or the Deer Springs permit amendment, visit the district’s website