Enjoy all your local news and sports for less than 5¢ per day.

Subscribe Now

Marble Falls prepares to buy $7M groundwater system over protests

Capstone Ranch near Marble Falls, Texas

The city of Marble Falls set a Sept. 13 meeting with protesters against the $7 million purchase of the Capstone Ranch groundwater system. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

Marble Falls city officials moved forward with a $7 million contract to buy the Capstone Ranch groundwater system despite mounting protests from its current users. A meeting between Capstone Ranch residents and the city is at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, in the parish hall at Trinity Episcopal Church, 909 Avenue D in Marble Falls. 

The meeting was set up at the request of Mayor Dave Rhodes. 

“Rather than have everyone running around on gossip, I had the city put the meeting together so we could shoot straight with them, hear them, and for them to hear things from us,” Rhodes told “I think that’s community. I think that’s the right way to do things.”

Officials discussed possibly terminating the contract during the City Council’s regular meeting on Sept. 5 as the 180-day termination deadline of Sept. 17 approached. The city stands to lose $200,000 to the system’s seller if it pulls out of the contract after the deadline.

“It’s on the agenda, should you want to amend the contract to pull out,” Deputy City Manager Caleb Kraenzel explained to the council at the Sept. 5 meeting. 

Councilors could still take action to cancel the contract by calling a special meeting by Sept. 16, but even with the objections and scheduled meeting with protesters, the city appears set to buy the system.

“It will not influence our decision at all,” Rhodes told regarding the upcoming meeting with Capstone Ranch residents.

Councilors approved the contract to purchase the groundwater system in March. It would increase Marble Falls’ water capacity by about 720,000 gallons a day, which is half of what the city now treats out of Lake Marble Falls. The system currently serves 27 households in Capstone Ranch, a housing development located outside of the city limits.

Capstone Ranch residents filed a protest with the Public Utility Commission of Texas, which will have to approve the purchase.

“Our two main concerns are: Will the water pressure be fixed, and how? And the price of the water,” Capstone Ranch resident Cindy Keschinger told 

Residents fear the city will raise their rates to pay for the $7 million expenditure.

“We’re concerned about the rates,” resident David Waldo said. “We’re hoping we are going to be classified under sprinkler/irrigation since we don’t have (wastewater) or garbage.”

Waldo pointed to the discrepancy between water rate hikes for residents versus non-residents.

“Stated fact: Marble Falls raised outside city rates by 50 percent; city rates increased by 5 (percent),” he said. “We’re concerned about that.”

Rhodes said he was “disappointed” with the protests.

“We’re going to incur some serious costs,” he said. “It’s not just the city but the people of Marble Falls that will bear that cost.”

The mayor was also upset with the timing of the protests.

“This has been a public issue for a very long time,” he said. “To wait until the 11:30 hour to bring this up is very, very disappointing.”

The groundwater system’s seller refused requests from Marble Falls officials for more time to sort through the protests against the acquisition, Kraenzel said.

2 thoughts on “Marble Falls prepares to buy $7M groundwater system over protests

  1. Maybe grandfather in the current residences on their original rates and adjust all future rates accordingly. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you so to speak. Protect and make it fair for the new residents as well.

  2. Move to Sandy Harbor where you pay $80 a month before you even use any water. LOL Waterway robbery right there! Pressure is terrible, pipes are old, water quality is…potable. moderates all comments. Comments with profanity, violent or discriminatory language, defamatory statements, or threats will not be allowed. The opinions and views expressed here are those of the person commenting and do not necessarily reflect the official position of or Victory Media Marketing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *