S.B. No. 967
relating to the creation of the Central Texas Groundwater
Conservation District; providing authority to impose a tax and
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Subtitle H, Title 6, Special District Local Laws
Code, is amended by adding Chapter 8810 to read as follows:
CHAPTER 8810. CENTRAL TEXAS GROUNDWATER
SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 8810.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
(1) "Board" means the board of directors of the
(2) "Director" means a member of the board.
(3) "District" means the Central Texas Groundwater
Sec. 8810.002. NATURE OF DISTRICT. The district is a
groundwater conservation district in Burnet County created under
and essential to accomplish the purposes of Section 59, Article
XVI, Texas Constitution.
Sec. 8810.003. CONFIRMATION ELECTION REQUIRED. If the
creation of the district is not confirmed at a confirmation
election held before September 1, 2007:
(1) the district is dissolved on September 1, 2007,
(A) any debts incurred shall be paid;
(B) any assets that remain after the payment of
debts shall be transferred to Burnet County; and
(C) the organization of the district shall be
maintained until all debts are paid and remaining assets are
(2) this chapter expires on September 1, 2010.
Sec. 8810.004. INITIAL DISTRICT TERRITORY. The initial
boundaries of the district are coextensive with the boundaries of
Burnet County, Texas.
Sec. 8810.005. CONSTRUCTION OF CHAPTER. This chapter shall
be liberally construed to achieve the legislative intent and
purposes of Chapter 36, Water Code. A power granted by Chapter 36,
Water Code, or this chapter shall be broadly interpreted to achieve
that intent and those purposes.
Sec. 8810.006. APPLICABILITY OF OTHER GROUNDWATER
CONSERVATION DISTRICT LAW. Except as otherwise provided by this
chapter, Chapter 36, Water Code, applies to the district.
[Sections 8810.007-8810.020 reserved for expansion]
SUBCHAPTER A-1. TEMPORARY PROVISIONS
Sec. 8810.021. APPOINTMENT OF TEMPORARY DIRECTORS.
(a) Not later than the 45th day after the effective date of this
chapter, five temporary directors shall be appointed as follows:
(1) the Burnet County Commissioners Court shall
appoint one temporary director from each of the four commissioners
precincts in the county to represent the precincts in which the
temporary directors reside; and
(2) the county judge of Burnet County shall appoint
one temporary director who resides in the district to represent the
district at large.
(b) If there is a vacancy on the temporary board of
directors of the district, the authority who appointed the
temporary director whose position is vacant shall appoint a person
to fill the vacancy.
(c) Temporary directors serve until the earlier of:
(1) the time the temporary directors become initial
directors as provided by Section 8810.024; or
(2) the date this chapter expires under Section
Sec. 8810.022. ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING OF TEMPORARY
DIRECTORS. As soon as practicable after all the temporary
directors have qualified under Section 36.055, Water Code, a
majority of the temporary directors shall convene the
organizational meeting of the district at a location within the
district agreeable to a majority of the directors. If an agreement
on location cannot be reached, the organizational meeting shall be
at the Burnet County Courthouse.
Sec. 8810.023. CONFIRMATION ELECTION. (a) The temporary
directors shall hold an election to confirm the creation of the
(b) Section 41.001(a), Election Code, does not apply to a
confirmation election held as provided by this section.
(c) Except as provided by this section, a confirmation
election must be conducted as provided by Sections 36.017(b)-(i),
Water Code, and the Election Code. Section 36.017(d), Water Code,
does not apply to a confirmation election under this section.
(d) The ballot for the election must be printed to provide
for voting for or against the proposition: "The creation of the
Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District and the imposition
of a maintenance tax at an initial rate not to exceed two cents for
each $100 of assessed valuation."
(e) If a majority of the votes cast at the election are not
in favor of the creation of the district, the temporary directors
may call and hold a subsequent confirmation election. The
subsequent election may not be held before the first anniversary of
the date on which the previous election was held.
(f) The district may not impose a maintenance tax unless the
tax is confirmed under this section.
Sec. 8810.024. INITIAL DIRECTORS. (a) If creation of the
district is confirmed at an election held under Section 8810.023,
the temporary directors of the district become the initial
directors of the district and serve on the board of directors until
permanent directors are elected under Section 8810.025.
(b) The initial directors representing commissioners
precincts 2 and 4 shall serve a term expiring June 1 following the
first regularly scheduled election of directors under Section
8810.025, and the initial directors representing commissioners
precincts 1 and 3 shall serve a term expiring June 1 following the
second regularly scheduled election of directors. The at-large
director shall serve a term expiring June 1 following the second
regularly scheduled election of directors.
Sec. 8810.025. INITIAL ELECTION OF PERMANENT DIRECTORS. On
the uniform election date prescribed by Section 41.001, Election
Code, in May of the first even-numbered year after the year in which
the district is authorized to be created at a confirmation
election, an election shall be held in the district for the election
of two directors to replace the initial directors who, under
Section 8810.024(b), serve a term expiring June 1 following that
Sec. 8810.026. EXPIRATION OF SUBCHAPTER. This subchapter
expires September 1, 2010.
[Sections 8810.027-8810.050 reserved for expansion]
SUBCHAPTER B. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sec. 8810.051. DIRECTORS; TERMS. (a) The district is
governed by a board of five directors.
(b) Directors serve staggered four-year terms, with two or
three directors' terms expiring June 1 of each even-numbered year.
(c) A director may serve consecutive terms.
Sec. 8810.052. METHOD OF ELECTING DIRECTORS: COMMISSIONERS
PRECINCTS. (a) The directors of the district shall be elected
according to the commissioners precinct method as provided by this
(b) One director shall be elected by the voters of the
entire district, and one director shall be elected from each county
commissioners precinct by the voters of that precinct.
(c) Except as provided by Subsection (e), to be eligible to
be a candidate for or to serve as director at large, a person must be
a registered voter in the district. To be a candidate for or to
serve as director from a county commissioners precinct, a person
must be a registered voter of that precinct.
(d) A person shall indicate on the application for a place
on the ballot:
(1) the precinct that the person seeks to represent;
(2) that the person seeks to represent the district at
(e) When the boundaries of the county commissioners
precincts are redrawn after each federal decennial census to
reflect population changes, a director in office on the effective
date of the change, or a director elected or appointed before the
effective date of the change whose term of office begins on or after
the effective date of the change, shall serve in the precinct to
which elected or appointed even though the change in boundaries
places the person's residence outside the precinct for which the
person was elected or appointed.
Sec. 8810.053. ELECTION DATE. The district shall hold an
election to elect the appropriate number of directors on the
uniform election date prescribed by Section 41.001, Election Code,
in May of each even-numbered year.
Sec. 8810.054. DIVISION OF MUNICIPALITY. The provision in
Section 36.059(b), Water Code, concerning the division of a
municipal corporation among precincts does not apply to an election
under this chapter.
[Sections 8810.055-8810.100 reserved for expansion]
SUBCHAPTER C. POWERS AND DUTIES
Sec. 8810.101. PERMIT CONSIDERATION. Before granting or
denying a permit under Section 36.113, Water Code, the district
shall consider if the proposed use of water unreasonably affects
Sec. 8810.102. PERMITS FOR CERTAIN ACTIVITIES; APPLICABLE
RULES. (a) The district may require a permit for any activity that
extracts groundwater or allows more than 25,000 gallons of
groundwater a day to escape.
(b) If a permit is required under Subsection (a), the permit
holder is subject to rules adopted by the district to:
(1) conserve, preserve, protect, and recharge the
groundwater or a groundwater reservoir or its subdivisions to
control subsidence, prevent degradation of groundwater quality,
and prevent waste of groundwater; and
(2) carry out any other power or duty under Chapter 36,
(c) To the extent of a conflict, this section controls over
Section 36.117(b), Water Code.
Sec. 8810.103. IMPACT OF TRANSFER. (a) If the district
finds that a transfer of groundwater out of the district negatively
impacts any of the factors described by Section 36.122(f), Water
Code, the district may impose additional requirements or
limitations on the permit that are designed to minimize those
(b) Sections 36.122(c), (e), (i), and (j), Water Code, do
not apply to a requirement or limitation imposed under this
Sec. 8810.104. CONTRACTS WITH OTHER GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES.
The district and another governmental entity, including a river
authority located in the district, may enter into a contract for the
performance by that entity of a district function.
Sec. 8810.105. REVENUE. (a) To pay the maintenance and
operating costs of the district and to pay any bonds or notes issued
by the district, the district may:
(1) impose ad valorem taxes at a rate not to exceed
five cents on each $100 of assessed valuation of taxable property;
(2) assess fees for services or for water withdrawn
from nonexempt wells; or
(3) solicit and accept grants from any private or
(b) The district may not impose ad valorem taxes to pay the
maintenance and operating costs of the district at a rate that
exceeds the maximum rate approved by a majority of the voters of the
district voting at an election in the district held for that
Sec. 8810.106. PROHIBITION ON DISTRICT USE OF EMINENT
DOMAIN POWERS. The district may not exercise the power of eminent
[Sections 8810.107-8810.150 reserved for expansion]
SUBCHAPTER D. DISSOLUTION
Sec. 8810.151. ELECTION FOR DISSOLUTION. (a) If the
district has no outstanding bond or other long-term indebtedness,
the district may be dissolved by a favorable vote of a majority of
the registered voters of the district at an election called for that
(b) The board shall call a dissolution election if the board
receives a petition for dissolution signed by at least 50 percent of
the registered voters in the district as computed by using the list
of registered voters for Burnet County.
(c) If the district is dissolved under this section, the
(1) notify the Texas Commission on Environmental
Quality and the secretary of state of the dissolution; and
(2) transfer title to any assets of the district to
SECTION 2. (a) The legal notice of the intention to
introduce this Act, setting forth the general substance of this
Act, has been published as provided by law, and the notice and a
copy of this Act have been furnished to all persons, agencies,
officials, or entities to which they are required to be furnished
under Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, and Chapter 313,
(b) The governor has submitted the notice and Act to the
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
(c) The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has filed
its recommendations relating to this Act with the governor,
lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house of representatives
within the required time.
(d) All requirements of the constitution and laws of this
state and the rules and procedures of the legislature with respect
to the notice, introduction, and passage of this Act are fulfilled
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2005.
President of the Senate Speaker of the House
I hereby certify that S.B. No. 967 passed the Senate on
April 28, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
Secretary of the Senate
I hereby certify that S.B. No. 967 passed the House on
May 25, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 144, Nays 0, two
present not voting.
Chief Clerk of the House