Austin, Texas
April 20, 2009

Honorable Allan Ritter, Chair, House Committee on Natural Resources
John S. O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB4463 by Martinez Fischer (Relating to the creation of Austin Desired Development Zone District No. 5; providing authority to levy an assessment, impose taxes, and issue bonds; and granting a limited power of eminent domain.), As Introduced

The Legislative Budget Board, in cooperation with the Texas Water Development Board (TPWD) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has determined that:


The bill amends the Special District Local Laws Code by adding a chapter to create Austin Desired Development District No. 5 of Travis County as a special district under Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution. The purpose of the District includes providing works and projects under powers conferred by Article III, Section 52 and Article XVI, Section 59 of the Texas Constitution. The District may exercise powers and duties provided under Subchapter A, Chapter 372, Local Government Code, Local Government Code Chapters 375, 380, 394, 402, 501, 502, and 505 and Section 4B of the Development Corporation Act of 1979. The District is subject to confirmation election by the voters.


The Districtís creation is subject to consent by ordinance of the City of Austin, and the City of Austin may condition its consent.  The bill does not name temporary directors.  The bill states the board will have seven directors. Four of the seven directors will be elected, and the City Council of Austin, Travis County Commissionerís Court, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will each appoint one director. The owners of a majority of the assessed value of the real property in the District may submit a petition to the TCEQ requesting appointment of the four persons named in the petition as temporary directors.


The bill becomes effective immediately with two-thirds vote of the members or on September 1, 2009.


1)     Population - The detailed description of the proposed boundaries does not allow staff to develop precise population estimates.  Based on the general boundaries determined from HB 4463, the population in the 2000 census could be as high as 280.  Population growth in that area since the 2000 census is unknown.
Travis County had a population of 812,280 in 2000 and is projected by the 2007 State Water Plan to grow to 969,955 in 2010 and to 1,185,499 in 2020.  The County Other population of Travis County was 44,016 in 2000 and is projected to decline to 33,665 in 2010 and to 27,853 in 2020.


2)     Location - The proposed district is located south of Austin and north of Creedmoor in southern Travis County.  While it is not possible to determine precise district boundaries, there is a potential overlap with the CCN boundaries of the Creedmoor-Maha Water Supply Corporation.


3) Comments on Powers/Duties Different from Similar Types of Districts - The District is eligible for inclusion in special zones. The District will have authority for road projects. The District also has the following powers: to accept a gift, grant or loan from any person; to enter into a contract with a tax increment investment zone; to contract for law enforcement and fire-fighting services; to establish and administer economic development; to enter into a strategic partnership with the City of Austin (City); to engage in public transit system projects and parking facility projects; to issue bonds to pay for these facilities or collect fees or tolls; and to levy a contract tax, a sales and use tax, and a hotel occupancy tax. The District shall not be a voluntary party to any suit against the city by a District resident or a person who owns property within the District. The District may exercise the power of eminent domain. The District may not exercise the power of eminent domain outside of the Districtís boundaries to acquire a site for water and wastewater services, or recreational facilities. After TCEQ approval of a District bond sale, the City may refuse to approve the Districtís bonds if the City determines that the Districtís bonds will be out of compliance with an agreement between the District and the City. The District shall not issue or sell a bond that the City has refused.


4) Overlapping Services - The stated boundaries form an acceptable closure. An area map containing at least two reference points (major road names, road intersections) and the proposed districtís geographic location mapped within Travis County is needed to complete overlapping services check. 


5) TCEQ Supervision - The TCEQ supervision is limited to review of the Districtís bonds to finance water, wastewater, or drainage facilities and financial reports required by the Water Code; otherwise, the District is not subject to TCEQ supervision.


6) Water Use - Within Travis County, 6.4 percent of the total water used was groundwater and of this, 87.4 percent was used for municipal purposes.  Seventy-four percent of the groundwater is pumped from the Edwards Aquifer and 12 percent comes from the Trinity Aquifer.  Water management strategies for the Creedmoor-Maha Water Supply Corporation include gaining new LCRA contracts and water transfer.

Source Agencies:
582 Commission on Environmental Quality, 580 Water Development Board
LBB Staff: