POSGCD grants ‘on hold’

Fee deferment for Blue Water okayed

Annual grants bestowed by the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District (POSGCD) are on hold for at least six months after the district granted its largest fee-payer a deferment on a majority of its permit payments.

On a 6-4 vote last week, directors decided to allow Blue Water Systems a 6-month deferment on about $500,000 the company will owe in transport fees on 50,993 acre/feet of water.

Ross Cummings, Blue Water president, said the request was because the company does not yet have an anticipated contract signed with San Antonio Water System (SAWS).

He said the company will continue to pay such fees on another 20,000 acre/ feet for which it has permits from the POSGCD.

Voting in favor of Cummings request were POSGCD directors Nathan Ausley, Dwayne Jekel, Kerry Starnes, Durwood Tucker, Robert Ware and Jay Wilder.

Voting against were directors Lee Alford, Tommy Tietjen, Steven Wise and Sidney Youngblood.

(POSGCD’s board is composed of five directors from Milam County and five from Burleson County. The 6-4 vote reflected a 3-2 vote by directors of each county.)

GRANTS—“This does not mean the district won’t be able to operate,” Gary Westbrook, POSGCD general manager, said. “The fees from the unaffected 20,000 acre-feet will keep everything going except the grants.”

“And we also have about $800,000 in reserves,” he said.

The district annually awards grants to entities within the two counties.

The City of Rockdale applied last week for a $74,000 grant, to be matched with $26,000 from the city.

Cummings said the resolution of the matter hinges on Blue Water signing a contract within the next six months.

He told directors if such a contract is signed the POSGCD would be paid the $500,000 owed and then Blue Water would continue paying fees on all 70,993 acre/feet.

Transport fees are six cents per 1,000 gallons.

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