Little River Off Channel Reservoir still in plan

By Milam County Judge David Barkemeyer

This past Wednesday was a disappointing day for many of you from Milam County as we saw a motion made by Gary Westbrook of Milano (who is on the Region G Water Planning Board) to remove the Little River Off Channel Reservoir from the Region G plan go down in defeat. This means that the reservoir remains in the plan, at least for now.
I was at the meeting substituting on the Board for Mike Sutherland, Burleson County Judge and also voted along with Gary to remove the reservoir from the plan, but we were unsuccessful. But the point that I want to stress here is that we can’t give up. This does not mean that the reservoir is going to be built, not by a long shot. In fact I don’t believe that it will ever be built. But it does mean that we must continue the opposition, but we would have had to do that anyway, even if we had been successful in getting it out of Region G’s plan.
Several of those around the table Wednesday were of the opinion that Region H would have quickly added the project to their plan if Region G had dropped it. I don’t know whether that is true or not, but we certainly would have had to be on guard for that possibility.
Also there is also the possibility that the reservoir can still be removed before the Region G plan is finalized this year, particularly if a viable alternative is proposed. So we should continue to make lots of noise in opposition. If it does not get removed, then the next step is to address the State Water Development Board and ultimately the State Legislature and seek to get it excluded from the state wide plan. We were successful last time around in getting the proposed on channel Little River Reservoir taken out of the state wide plan, so it can be done.
And finally, a few days ago the Williamson County Judge and one of their commissioners came over and paid me and Commissioner Muegge a visit and assured us that they were not interested in pursuing the off channel reservoir project to provide water for Williamson County. They wanted the people of Milam County to know that the people of Williamson County were not the ones calling for this project. By the way, their representative on the Region G Board voted with us to remove the project from the Region G plan.