By Wentworth S.B. No. 1704 77R4037 SGA-F A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 1-1 AN ACT 1-2 relating to the ratification of the creation of and to the 1-3 administration, powers, duties, operation, taxing authority, and 1-4 financing of the Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation 1-5 District. 1-6 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-7 SECTION 1. RATIFICATION OF CREATION. The creation by Chapter 1-8 1331, Acts of the 76th Legislature, Regular Session, 1999 (Senate 1-9 Bill 1911), of the Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation 1-10 District is ratified as required by Section 15(a) of that Act, 1-11 subject to approval at a confirmation election under Section 8 of 1-12 this Act. 1-13 SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: 1-14 (1) "Board" means the board of directors of the 1-15 Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation District. 1-16 (2) "Commission" means the Texas Natural Resource 1-17 Conservation Commission. 1-18 (3) "District" means the Southeast Trinity Groundwater 1-19 Conservation District. 1-20 SECTION 3. BOUNDARIES. The boundaries of the district are: 1-21 BEGINNING at the point of intersection of the Bexar County - 1-22 Comal County - Kendall County line: 1-23 THENCE following the meanders of the Cibolo Creek, the Bexar 1-24 County - Comal County line in an Easterly direction to the point of 2-1 intersection with latitude 29 40': 2-2 THENCE along 29 40' in a Southeasterly direction to the 2-3 point of intersection with Farm to Market Road 3009: 2-4 THENCE with the centerline of Farm to Market Road 3009 in a 2-5 Southerly direction to the point of intersection with the 2-6 centerline of Schoenthal Road: 2-7 THENCE with the centerline of Schoenthal Road in a 2-8 Northeasterly direction to the point of intersection with the 2-9 centerline of Farm to Market Road 1863: 2-10 THENCE with the centerline of Farm to Market Road 1863 in an 2-11 Easterly direction to the point of intersection with the centerline 2-12 of Mission Valley Road: 2-13 THENCE with the centerline of Mission Valley Road in a 2-14 Northeasterly direction to the point of intersection with the 2-15 centerline of State Highway 46; 2-16 THENCE with the centerline of State Highway 46 in a 2-17 Northwesterly direction to the point of intersection with the 2-18 centerline of Hueco Springs Loop Road: 2-19 THENCE with the centerline of Hueco Springs Loop Road in a 2-20 Northeasterly then Easterly direction to the point of intersection 2-21 with the centerline of River Road: 2-22 THENCE with the centerline of River Road in a Northeasterly 2-23 direction to the point of intersection with the Guadalupe River at 2-24 the First Crossing: 2-25 THENCE following the meanders of the Guadalupe River in a 2-26 Northerly direction to the point of intersection of the center 2-27 lines of the Guadalupe River and Deep Creek: 3-1 (Note: the next four paragraphs coincide with the Southern boundary 3-2 of Comal County Voters Precinct 18) 3-3 THENCE along the meanders of Deep Creek in a Northeasterly 3-4 direction to the point of intersection of the centerline of Deep 3-5 Creek and the South line of the G. F. Lawrence Survey No. 33, 3-6 Abstract No. 358: 3-7 THENCE with the South line of the G. F. Lawrence Survey No. 3-8 33, Abstract No. 358 in a Northeasterly, Southeasterly, and 3-9 Northeasterly direction to the point of intersection of the South 3-10 centerline of Farm to Market Road 306 being at approximately 3-11 Engineers Station 397+98.3: 3-12 THENCE with the centerline of Farm to Market Road 306 in a 3-13 Southeasterly direction to the point of intersection of the center 3-14 lines of Farm to Market Road 306 and the William Pfeuffer private 3-15 ranch road: 3-16 THENCE with the approximate bearing N 69 E and approximate 3-17 distance 5,000 feet to an angle point in the Comal County - Hayes 3-18 County Line: 3-19 THENCE with the Comal County - Hays County line in a 3-20 Northwesterly direction to the point of intersection of the Comal 3-21 County - Hays County line with the Comal County Blanco County line: 3-22 THENCE with the Comal County - Blanco County line in a 3-23 Southwesterly direction to the point of intersection of the Comal 3-24 County - Blanco County - Kendall County line, continuing with the 3-25 Comal County - Kendall County line in a Southwesterly direction to 3-26 point of intersection of the Kendall County -Comal County - Bexar 4-1 County line being the Point of Beginning. 4-2 SECTION 4. FINDINGS RELATIVE TO BOUNDARIES. The legislature 4-3 finds that the boundaries and field notes of the district form a 4-4 closure. A mistake in the field notes or in copying the field 4-5 notes in the legislative process does not affect the organization, 4-6 existence, or validity of the district, the right of the district 4-7 to levy and collect taxes, or the legality or operation of the 4-8 district or its governing body. 4-9 SECTION 5. GENERAL POWERS. (a) Except as otherwise provided 4-10 by this Act, the district has all of the rights, powers, 4-11 privileges, authority, functions, and duties provided by the 4-12 general law of this state, including Chapter 36, Water Code, 4-13 applicable to groundwater conservation districts created under 4-14 Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution. This Act prevails 4-15 over any provision of general law that is in conflict with or 4-16 inconsistent with this Act. 4-17 (b) The district has no regulatory jurisdiction over the 4-18 Edwards Aquifer or any surface water supply. 4-19 (c) The board of directors of the district by rule may 4-20 impose reasonable fees, including fees for groundwater transported 4-21 out of the district, on each groundwater well in the district that 4-22 is not exempt from regulation by the district, based on the amount 4-23 of water withdrawn from the well. The fees may be assessed 4-24 annually, based on the size of column pipe used in the wells, pump 4-25 capacity, or actual, authorized, or anticipated pumpage, to pay the 4-26 maintenance and operating expenses of the district's regulation of 4-27 groundwater. 5-1 (d) The district may assess an ad valorem property tax not 5-2 to exceed seven cents per $100 valuation for administrative, 5-3 operation, and maintenance expenses if approved by a majority of 5-4 the qualified voters voting in an election authorizing the tax. 5-5 (e) Any district conservation fee paid by a retail public 5-6 utility to the district shall be: 5-7 (1) collected by the retail public utility directly as 5-8 a regulatory fee from the customers of the utility and paid to the 5-9 district; and 5-10 (2) shown as a separate line item on the customer's 5-11 bill. 5-12 (f) Fees may not be assessed for groundwater withdrawn from 5-13 the Edwards Aquifer. 5-14 (g) The district shall determine which classes of wells are 5-15 exempt from permitting requirements. 5-16 (h) The district may not require a permit for: 5-17 (1) the drilling or producing from a well either 5-18 drilled, completed, or equipped so that it is capable of producing 5-19 less than 10,000 gallons of water per day; or 5-20 (2) the drilling or alteration of the size of a well 5-21 or to restrict the production of a well if the water produced or to 5-22 be produced from the well is or will be used to supply the domestic 5-23 needs of five or fewer households in which a person who is a member 5-24 of each household is either the owner of the well, a person related 5-25 to the owner or a member of the owner's household within the second 5-26 degree by consanguinity, or an employee of the owner. 5-27 (i) The district may construct, implement, and maintain best 6-1 management practices in the district and may engage in and promote 6-2 acceptance of best management practices through education efforts 6-3 sponsored by the district for the purposes of water quality and 6-4 water availability practices, such as brush management, recharge 6-5 enhancement, water and silt detention and retention structures, 6-6 plugging of abandoned wells, and other treatment measures for the 6-7 conservation of groundwater resources. 6-8 SECTION 6. BOARD OF DIRECTORS. (a) The district is governed 6-9 by a board of five directors. 6-10 (b) The temporary directors appointed by the Comal County 6-11 Commissioners Court shall serve until initial directors are elected 6-12 under Section 8 of this Act. 6-13 (c) The temporary directors are: 6-14 (1) Christian Dullnig; 6-15 (2) Ernest T. Lee; 6-16 (3) Jill Sondeen; 6-17 (4) Larry Hull; and 6-18 (5) Stovy Bowlin. 6-19 (d) Initial directors will be elected at the confirmation 6-20 election and will serve until permanent directors are elected under 6-21 Section 9 of this Act. 6-22 (e) Permanent directors serve staggered four-year terms. 6-23 (f) Each director must qualify to serve as director in the 6-24 manner provided by Section 36.055, Water Code. 6-25 (g) A director serves until the director's successor has 6-26 qualified. 6-27 (h) If there is a vacancy on the board, the remaining 7-1 directors shall appoint a director to serve the remainder of the 7-2 term. If the vacant office is not scheduled for election for more 7-3 than two years at the time of the appointment, the board shall 7-4 order an election for the unexpired term to be held as part of the 7-5 next regularly scheduled director's election. The appointed 7-6 director's term shall end on qualification of the director elected 7-7 at that election. If at any time there are fewer than three 7-8 qualified directors, the Comal County Commissioners Court shall 7-9 appoint the necessary number of persons to fill all vacancies on 7-10 the board. 7-11 (i) Directors may serve consecutive terms. 7-12 SECTION 7. METHOD OF ELECTING DIRECTORS: COMMISSIONERS 7-13 PRECINCTS. (a) The directors of the district shall be elected 7-14 according to the commissioners precincts method as provided by this 7-15 section. 7-16 (b) One director shall be elected by the qualified voters of 7-17 the entire district, and one director shall be elected from each 7-18 county commissioners precinct by the qualified voters of that 7-19 precinct. No more than two precincts may be in a single 7-20 municipality. 7-21 (c) To be eligible to be a candidate for or to serve as 7-22 director at large, a person must reside in and be a registered 7-23 voter in the district. To be eligible to be a candidate for or to 7-24 serve as director from a county commissioners precinct, a person 7-25 must reside in and be a registered voter in that precinct. 7-26 (d) A person eligible to be a candidate for director under 7-27 Subsection (c) of this section may request a place on the ballot as 8-1 a write-in candidate, subject to two restrictions: 8-2 (1) in an election for board members, a write-in vote 8-3 may not be counted unless the name written in appears on the list 8-4 of write-in candidates; and 8-5 (2) a declaration of write-in candidacy must be filed 8-6 not later than 5 p.m. of the 45th day before election day. 8-7 SECTION 8. CONFIRMATION ELECTION AND ELECTION OF INITIAL 8-8 DIRECTORS. (a) As soon as practicable after the effective date of 8-9 this Act, the temporary board of directors shall set the date for, 8-10 call, and hold an election: 8-11 (1) to confirm establishment of the district; 8-12 (2) to elect five initial directors; and 8-13 (3) to confirm the authority to tax. 8-14 (b) The election shall be held on the first authorized 8-15 election date after the U.S. Department of Justice has pre-cleared 8-16 this Act. The district shall contract with the Comal County Clerk 8-17 to conduct the election. 8-18 (c) The elected initial directors shall draw lots to 8-19 determine their terms so that: 8-20 (1) two of the initial directors serve two-year terms 8-21 that expire on the uniform election date in November of the second 8-22 year after the date the initial directors were elected; and 8-23 (2) the remaining three initial directors serve 8-24 four-year terms that expire on the uniform election date in 8-25 November of the fourth year after the year in which the initial 8-26 directors were elected. 8-27 (d) Section 41.001(a), Election Code, does not apply to a 9-1 confirmation and directors election held as provided by this 9-2 section. 9-3 (e) Except as provided by this section, a confirmation and 9-4 directors election must be conducted as provided by Sections 9-5 36.017(b)-(h), Water Code, and the Election Code. 9-6 (f) The Comal County Commissioners Court shall pay the 9-7 expenses of conducting the confirmation and initial directors 9-8 election, subject to reimbursement from available revenues if the 9-9 establishment of the district is confirmed or from funds allocated 9-10 under Section 36.160, Water Code, if the establishment of the 9-11 district is defeated. 9-12 (g) If the district is defeated, the temporary directors may 9-13 call and hold subsequent elections to confirm establishment of the 9-14 district. A subsequent election may not be held earlier than the 9-15 first anniversary of the date on which the previous election was 9-16 held. 9-17 SECTION 9. ELECTION OF REGULAR DIRECTORS. (a) On the uniform 9-18 election date in November of the second year after the year in 9-19 which the initial directors were elected, an election shall be held 9-20 in the district to elect two regular directors for the positions of 9-21 the two initial directors serving two-year terms. 9-22 (b) On the uniform election date in November of each 9-23 subsequent second year following the election held under Subsection 9-24 (a) of this section, an election shall be held to elect the 9-25 appropriate number of regular directors to the board. 9-26 SECTION 10. COORDINATION. The district may coordinate 9-27 activities with other groundwater districts that regulate the 10-1 Trinity Aquifer for the purposes of jointly managing the common 10-2 resource. 10-3 SECTION 11. MODIFICATION OF DISTRICT. A district created 10-4 under this Act may be modified only as prescribed by Subchapter J, 10-5 Chapter 36, Water Code, or by subsequent acts of the Texas 10-6 Legislature. 10-7 SECTION 12. FINDINGS RELATED TO PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS. (a) 10-8 The proper and legal notice of the intention to introduce this Act, 10-9 setting forth the general substance of this Act, has been published 10-10 as provided by law, and the notice and a copy of this Act have been 10-11 furnished to all persons, agencies, officials, or entities to which 10-12 they are required to be furnished by the constitution and other 10-13 laws of this state, including the governor, who has submitted the 10-14 notice and Act to the commission. 10-15 (b) The commission has filed its recommendations relating to 10-16 this Act with the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the 10-17 house of representatives within the required time. 10-18 (c) All requirements of the constitution and laws of this 10-19 state and the rules and procedures of the legislature with respect 10-20 to the notice, introduction, and passage of this Act are fulfilled 10-21 and accomplished. 10-22 SECTION 13. EFFECTIVE DATE; EXPIRATION DATE. (a) This Act 10-23 takes effect September 1, 2001. 10-24 (b) If the district has not been confirmed at an election 10-25 held under Section 8 of this Act before the fourth anniversary of 10-26 the effective date of this Act, the district is dissolved on that 10-27 date, except that any debts incurred shall be paid and the 11-1 organization of the district shall be maintained until all debts 11-2 are paid.