A public hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 11 so residents of the Peninsula Subdivision near the Lake Brownwood dam may voice opinions on policies regarding property leases and sales by the Brown County Water Improvement District No. 1.
Approximately a dozen residents attended Tuesday’s board meeting. After a 42-minute executive session called for consultation with legal counsel, the board returned to open meeting, and the hearing date was announced.
General Manager John Chisholm said under Texas law, the district is required to sell property at market value.
The board recently revised its lease policy to tie shorter-term lease renewal prices to current market values, and invited lease holders to purchase the land. Most have built homes on the land, and many long-term leases are beginning to come up for renewal.
Rapidly escalating property values in rural Texas, especially around lakes, have boosted the values of real estate substantially since the leases periods began, perhaps decades ago.
“It all boils down to the price of the lot,” Chisholm said. “We are confident that we have to sell it for appraised market value. I don’t feel like the district has any option under the law, the Texas Constitution and this attorney general’s ruling in a San Angelo case. We just really don’t have a choice.”
Chisholm said a change in the district’s lease policy is something the district may consider.
“I would like to schedule another meeting on leasing,” Chisholm said, “and let the board hear what I’ve heard directly.”
In other business, the water district board:
Postponed consideration of a budget for its 2007-2008 fiscal year. Named Citizens National Bank as the district’s depository for the next three years. Heard Chisholm’s report on flooding around the lake in recent weeks, during which the level crested at 4.2 feet above spillway after being 6.8 feet below in March. The level was 1,425.6 on Tuesday, or 0.6 of a feet above spillway. Heard Chisholm report that construction materials are arriving at the site of the district’s new water filtration plant. “It’s beginning to look like a construction site now,” he said.