by Gene Lowenthal

This morning, as expected, the LCRA voted to approve a water and wastewater contract with Lazy Nine (Sweetwater) and directed Joe Beal to negotiate the final terms of the contract.

There was a good turnout from the opposition. About 20 people pointed out that the development would pollute Bee Creek and Lake Travis, and asked (to no avail) the LCRA to require more protection from the development.

The sequence seems to go like this (we’ve heard it before):

•The LCRA Board asks Joe Beal what the rush is in getting this contract approved
•Joe tells the Board that they need to approve this contract right away, or else the developer will get water from another supplier who will not require water quality protection measures
•The Board asks the staff what water quality protection measures the LCRA is requiring of the developer
•The LCRA attorney answers that the only measures that can be put in a contract are measures that the developer voluntarily agrees to; the LCRA can’t demand anything
•The Board approves the resolution

Not exactly logical, but that’s the way it goes.

Another controversial item: The Lazy 9 MUD intends to pump and haul sewage to the LCRA wastewater treatment facility in Bee Cave until the MUD constructs its own wastewater treatment plant. Speakers complained about the risks of such an operation. Once again Joe said that the developer would get the service somewhere else if LCRA didn’t supply it, and that was that.

From this experience and the Hamilton Pool Road experience, it should now be obvious to everyone (if it wasn’t before) that the LCRA Board is there to rubber stamp the staff’s agenda. Our strategy needs to adapt to this reality.

Thanks to all who pitched in.

--- Gene