Monday, October 6, 2014

We got a hearing! And you are invited!

Dear GEAA members and friends,
The Vista Ridge pipeline is being sold as a regional water supply project to serve growth in the IH 35 corridor.  We predict that this will result in an explosion of growth in the areas where we least want it – over our Edwards and Trinity watersheds.  For a great description of the project, read what SOS Alliance has to say here
At a briefing of the SAWS water rates advisory board that I attended, it was mentioned that SAWS intends to sell short term water contracts from the Vista Ridge pipeline to supply water in Wimberley. San Marcos, Dripping Springs, Spring Branch, and Blanco.  The cities of Austin and San Marcos have already announced that they do not want this water. I don’t know of any entities other than MUD’s that would pay the $2,200/arce foot for a five to ten year contract.  This project is a developer’s dream.
At the San Antonio City Council meeting last night, several groups, including GEAA, presented our concerns.  Former Texas Water Development Board Attorney, Michelle McFadden presented an excellent analysis of the risks of this project.  We are grateful to the League of Independent Voters of Texas for commissioning Ms. McFaddin to take a close look at the Vista Ridge contract  (something, it seems, that few here in San Antonio have done).
It appears that the SAWS Director of Public Relations, upon receiving GEAA’s press release announcing that we would be at City Council to speak on the Vista Ridge Project, spent the afternoon drafting comments for representatives of the various Chambers of Commerce to present, as well.  We were astonished to hear for the first time - from a Chamber of Commerce representative - that the City is planning on having a public hearing at their next weekly Council meeting.  
So, please mark your calendars to attend a public hearing on the Vista Ridge Water Supply project. 
When: Wednesday, October 8th at 6:00 pm
Where: San Antonio City Hall Complex, City Council Chambers, 114 W. Commerce, San Antonio, Texas
What: A Public Hearing to allow citizens and other interested parties the opportunity to provide comments to the City Council on the proposed Vista Ridge Water Supply Agreement.  For information on signing up to speak on line, click here.  You may park at the Frost Bank garage across Commerce Street.
If you are a SAWS ratepayer, we urge you to come down and express your concerns.  If you can't make it, please contact your Council Representative and let them know what you think. This project is estimated to boost your water rates by at least 16% over the next three years.  You are essentially being asked to subsidize an explosion of growth over the Edwards and Trinity aquifer watersheds via a financially risky project.
We welcome citizens from throughout the Hill Country to attend the hearing, and/or write to Mayor Taylor and the San Antonio City Council to express your concerns. 
Looking forward to seeing you next Wednesday!
Annalisa Peace
You can always keep up with interesting water news on GEAA's Face Book page
and, you can mail contributions to support GEAA to PO Box 15618, San Antonio, Texas 78212

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