Commissioners supply election funding, assuring Southwestern Travis County Groundwater Conservation District can appear on May ballot

Travis County Commissioners lifted the burn ban Tuesday.

Travis County Commissioners lifted the burn ban Tuesday.

Following an executive session and a week of deliberation, Travis County Commissioners voted Tuesday afternoon to cover the costs of an election to create a conservation district that would regulate, protect and conserve the county's groundwater supply derived from the Trinity Aquifer, one of nine major aquifers in the state.

In a Feb. 20 meeting, the group behind the Southwestern Travis County Groundwater Conservation District requested the county pay to hold a May election, which county officials estimated could cost between $365,000 and $544,000. The group also requested $5,000 to help get the district’s efforts underway.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ron Morgan, chief deputy county clerk, said due to the increase in the number of entities participating in the May election, the pro rata share to fund the election saw a significant decrease and is now estimated to cost between $180,000 and $200,000.

The county will cover the costs of the election as well as provide $5,000 for operational expenses, with the agreement that if the proposed district is approved by voters it will reimburse the county overtime for the costs of ratifying the election. The vote also included the continued support and advisory from county staff.

During the election, approximately 80,000 voters who live within the district's jurisdiction will have an opportunity to approve the district in a confirmation election. Residents will also vote to elect official directors to the district's governing board.

Originally filed by State Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, as failed House Bill 922 last year, the legislation creating the conservation district passed after being added to HB 4345. The session in 2017 was Workman’s third legislative attempt at establishing a district in the area.

The district was not given any state funding as part of HB 4345 to begin operations and is not allowed to collect operational fees until approved by local voters, according to legislation.
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

A photo of a sign that reads "Visit Historic Dripping Springs."
Dripping Springs Chamber survey shows more than half of local businesses expect significant financial impact from COVID-19

About 14.5% of respondents said they were worried about the possibility of a permanent closure.

Power lines
DATA: Austin’s residential electricity usage up more than 30% since beginning of March

The total residential electricity usage has increased by more than 31.88% across Austin Energy’s service area since the last week of February, the new numbers show.

Matt Silk, left, delivers food from Modern Market Eatery to a St. Davids Medical Center health care worker. (Courtesy Matt Silk)
Rollingwood resident creates program to help businesses and feed health care workers

Matt Silk said www.atxhospitalmeals.com serves two purposes: It helps struggling restaurants by purchasing food in bulk, and feeds dozens of health care workers with each purchase.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett said $104 million will be coming from Washington, D.C., to Austin for public transportation. (Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
Federal dollars could help soften impact of ridership declines for Capital Metro, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett said $104 million will be coming from Washington, D.C., to Austin for public transportation.

Austin and Travis County's orders went into place March 25 and require residents to stay home for everything but essential travel. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin is quarantining up to 18 coronavirus patients at undisclosed hotel

The city has officially declined to release the location of the quarantine facility.

An additional Chromebook distribution day can be added next week, if needed. (Courtesy Round Rock ISD)
5 recent education stories from the Austin area readers should know

Read updates on how local school districts and colleges are reacting in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion package March 27 to provide relief during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Sen. John Cornyn discusses provisions laid out in CARES Act

The $2 trillion package provides funding to help fight the virus and to provide financial assistance for Americans during the pandemic.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rates are increasing across the nation in the midst of COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas sees 77% increase in unemployment insurance claims during week ending March 28

Texas ranked fifth among states in the U.S. with 275,597 initial claims filed the week ending March 28.

Fifth Street in Austin sits empty March 25 after the city and county enacted stay-at-home orders to encourage social distancing and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the community. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Four Capital Metro employees test positive for coronavirus, including three bus operators

The first bus operator last worked on March 25, and the other two operators last worked on March 26, according to a release from Capital Metro.

(Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Renting in a pandemic: How Austin tenants and landlords are proceeding amid economic fallout of coronavirus

For most Austinites, April 1 is the first rent due date since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

ACC will offer students a pass or no-pass option for spring semester classes in response to the impact coronavirus has had on classes. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Community College offers students pass or no-pass options for shortened semester

ACC will offer students a pass or no-pass option for spring semester class options in response to the impact coronavirus has had on classes.

Sendero Health Plans announced a new measure April 1 to help its members receive tests and treatment for coronavirus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock Photos)
Sendero Health Plans waives all costs for coronavirus testing and treatment for members

Sendero Health Plans announced a new measure April 1 to help its members receive tests and treatment for coronavirus.