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Llano County officials have secured lucrative lease contracts utilizing 17,200 acres of land held in trust for the benefit of the Llano Independent School District and Burnet Consolidated ISD. The districts will receive $240,800 a year from hunting and grazing leases on the land, a 20.4 percent increase from previous contracts.

On Sept. 11, the Llano County Commissioners Court unanimously accepted a proposal by Commissioner Jerry Don Moss to make Hardway LLC a grazing lessee of the acreage in Tom Green County. Moss has handled negotiations on the land since the previous lessee failed to pay up and provide in-kind services required by contract in June.

The 17,200 acres were part of a land grant to Llano ISD from the Republic of Texas in 1840. At the time, the young country’s legislature gave four leagues of land to each county. Another 50 leagues were used to set up a university system. A league of land is equal to 4,428.4 acres. 

Ninety percent of the lease funds go to Llano ISD and 10 percent to Burnet CISD to support students on the east side of Horseshoe Bay who attend Burnet schools. LISD is one of the few school districts in Texas that still has its original land grant.

The Commissioners Court had already accepted hunting lease contracts in July from C&S LLC and Fox Run LLC. In total, the leases amount to $23 per acre, or $395,600. This is a significant boost from the previous contracts, which amounted to $16.37 per acre, or $281,564. 

Of the $395,600, $154,800 will be paid through in-kind services, such as brush clearing, fence maintenance, irrigation, or any work required to maintain the 17,200 acres.

According to Moss, this will be the most lucrative land lease the school district has ever acquired.