Port O'Connor Improvement District Photo

The Port O’Connor Improvement District wants to explain to residents why it will rely more on wells than the Guadalupe River for its drinking water and the financial implications of that going forward.

Last year, the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, from which the district purchases its water, said it needed to build a new water treatment plant in Calhoun County.

The district understood how much GBRA would require the district to pay for the new plant depended on how much the district used the plant.

District Board Member Danny Shane McGuire said he will explain how the district will use the plant less at meetings with the public Tuesday and Saturday.

He said the district will soon go from drawing about a million gallons per day from the plant to about 400,000 gallons per day.

The district will make up the difference in water by drilling and pumping from five new wells within a mile of each other and installing a treatment system for that water.

McGuire said under this plan, the district will pay $5.8 million for the new plant rather than $10.8 million.

He said although he thought this plan would require the district to raise its tax rate from 53 cents to 83 cents per $100 of valuation, he has since learned of what is called an “unlimited refunding tax bond.”

“It is basically a signature loan between the district and the Texas Water Development Board, and what is pledged is our tax money that’s already being collected. We are already collecting enough that if we finance this thing for 25 years, it will be such a small increase to our debt service that we won’t have to raise taxes,” McGuire said.

Patty Gonzales, a GBRA spokeswoman, said GBRA has not heard about what the district plans to do and therefore couldn’t comment.

This article was updated on April 29, 2019 to correct the time and location of the town hall meetings.

Jessica Priest reports on the environment and Calhoun County for the Victoria Advocate. She may be reached at jpriest@vicad.com or 361-580-6521.

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Environment/Investigations Reporter

Jessica Priest has done a little bit of everything since moving to Victoria in 2012. She was a regular fixture in the Crossroads’ historic courthouses, but now slathers on the sunscreen to report on the environment.

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