Texas Water Development Board Public Hearing
Aqua Texas is NOT a Done Deal
Save this Date:
You Still Have a Voice to
Save Wimberley's Future
5:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Wimberley Community Center
We can still STOP the AT Giveaway. But you need to show up at the Wimberley Community Center January 8 to let the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) know that you want Wimberley's environmentally safe and fiscally sound public sewer system, not Aqua Texas.
The previous City Sewer plan put under way early this year under the previous Mayor and City Council included two $1 million grants - free money to the Citizens of Wimberley for creating a great plan to clean up polluted Cypress Creek and supply much-needed water to Blue Hole Regional Park. It also got a very low-interest $5.5 million loan from the Texas Water Development Board that can be paid back over 30 years by the system's users (mostly downtown businesses) with no tax for Wimberley. The plant was fully funded. The plan and the funding for the plant took years and the careful crafting of many councils, and solved difficult problems.
Unfortunately, when the new council voted August 28 to kill the approved and under-construction treatment plant and pursue giving control of our system to Aqua Texas - without giving any logical financial or environmental reason - the City immediately lost both $1 million grants, as it had been warned would happen.
Because of the extensive changes to the plan, and the way water would be treated and used by Aqua Texas, TWDB has so far not declared if it will continue the loan. In fact, it sent a multi-page letter to Council asking for detailed answers to many legal, engineering and environmental questions. If TWDB concludes that the Aqua Texas plan does not live up to the protections of the previous plan, and withdraws funding, it will put previously fiscally sound Wimberley even deeper in the financial bind created by this new Council. It would also probably stop any Wimberley waste water treatment - and the clean-up of polluted Cypress Creek - for the foreseeable future.
Fortunately, the original plan and funding are still available if we return to the project.
We all want Wimberley to thrive and to retain its small town character, want to see its waters protected and conserved, and want to avoid taxes. Thanks to your many emails and calls, and the opposition of four previous mayors and many council members, TWDB is well aware that a large percentage of Wimberley citizens DO NOT WANT Aqua Texas to expand its hold on Wimberley. We do not want
Wimberley to lose the cleaned, recycled water that was always intended for beneficial reuse at Blue Hole.
Therefore, TWDB is requiring the City to hold a Public Hearing on the Aqua Texas plan.
It is TWDB that wants this hearing, not the Mayor and City Council. TWDB wants to know what you think.
Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development strongly urges support of the environmentally superior and fiscally sound City-operated Sewer System that was already under construction. We believe it is the cleanest small town waste water plant ever planned in the state of Texas, and will be a model for other systems throughout the state. We believe a plant that is overseen by the people of Wimberley will be more responsive to problems than Aqua Texas, which is part of Aqua America.
The record of Aqua Texas speaks for itself; a long history of environmental problems and penalties assessed by the state. We also believe Blue Hole is both a major asset to the people of Wimberley, and a beautiful magnet bringing dollars into our city.
If you agree, please show up at the January 8 hearing and tell the Texas Water Development Board we do not want Aqua Texas controlling our water, our city government and future big development.
ONE LAST THING: DO NOT BE CONFUSED
Mayor Susan Jaggers has announced she will hold her long-promised Town Hall meeting on this subject at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, January 10, also at the Community Center. This is a different meeting two days after the TWDB hearing. In her column in the Wimberley View on December 6, Mayor Jaggers wrote, "During the Town Hall meeting consolidated answers to questions and concerns will be provided."
We respectfully suggest that this meeting, if it is to answer the concerns of Wimberley Citizens, should be held prior to the TWDB public hearing.
- CARD Steering Committee
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