Board Adopts 2019 Tax Rate; Management Plan

During their Sept. 10 meeting, the HPWD Board of Directors approved a resolution setting the 2019 ad valorem tax rate at $0.0063 per $100 valuation for operation and maintenance of the district.

The adopted 2019 tax rate is about 1.5 percent less than the effective tax rate. This slight reduction provides a similar amount of tax revenue as last year.

Persons with $100,000 in property value will pay $6.30 in annual taxes to HPWD under the approved rate, as compared to $6.70 in 2018. The HPWD 2019 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

"The HPWD Board of Directors have lowered the tax rate each year since 2014. It is our priority to have balanced annual budgets. This allows us to reduce the tax rate for operation of the district, while at the same time, improve services for constituents in our 16-county service area," said Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo.

In other business, the Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution adopting a revised 10-year management plan. A public hearing to receive comments on the plan was held prior to the Board meeting.

The revised plan has been submitted to the Texas Water Development Board in Austin for final certification.

“Groundwater conservation districts (GCDs) in Texas adopt 10-year management plans. However, they are required by state law to review and re-adopt these plans--with or without revisions--at least once every five years. The newly-adopted management plan covers the period from 2019 to 2024,” said HPWD General Manager Jason Coleman.

He added that management plans contain specific performance standards pertaining to services provided by the respective GCDs across the state.

“As an example, groundwater conservation districts make annual water level measurements in observation wells each year. Performance standards in a district’s management plan will include the number of wells measured each year; the number of wells unable to be measured each year; the number of new wells added to the observation well network each year; and how these data are shared with the public. This helps GCDs gauge the effectiveness of programs and activities they provide to their constituents,” Coleman said.

 The amended management plan is available for viewing at www.hpwd.org/rules

Board approves Arboretum Foundation funding request

During their July 9 meeting, the HPWD Board of Directors approved Lubbock Memorial Arboretum's request for $12,674.71 in funding to create a garden.to educate the public about the "beauty and utility of using water wise, well-adapted and native plants in landscapes of the South Plains region."

This 0.24 acre demonstration garden will be located at the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum, 4111 University Avenue.

This funding request was emailed to HPWD by the May 6, 2019 deadline. However, it was lost and not included in the group of proposals considered by the District's Research and Demonstration Funding Committee.

Chairman Mike Beauchamp asked that the request be placed on the Board Meeting agenda for discussion and consideration by the Board of Directors.

In other business, the Board:

  • Approved the Consent Agenda (Minutes, Financial Statement, and Bills)

  • Approved applications for water well permits received in June 2019.

  • Held preliminary discussion on the proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget for operation and maintenance of HPWD.

  • Selected an auditor for Fiscal Year 2019.

  • Approved a new employee health benefit option.

The next HPWD Board of Directors meeting is Tuesday, August 13, at 1:30 p.m. at the District office in Lubbock. All agendas and past meeting minutes are available at hpwd.org/agendas.

HPWD Board approves research and demonstration project funding

More than $157,000 in funding for water research and education was approved by the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) Board of Directors at their June 11 meeting.

 There were 16 projects submitted for funding. Each was evaluated by an eight-member committee, consisting of three Board members, two County Advisory Committee members, two members of the public, and the General Manager.

 Of these, 11 projects were approved. They are:

  • Plant Based Polymers to Remove Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Arsenic in Groundwater.

  • Rainwater Harvesting Demonstration Project.

  • Evaluation of TDR Soil Moisture Sensor.

  • Drought Tolerant Corn Hybrids.

  • Improving Groundwater Recharge.

  • Mapping Playa Wetness & Estimating Playa Recharge.

  • 3D Aquifer Visualization Model.

  • Water Conservation Demonstration Garden.

  • Effects of Shade on Water Use in Turfgrass.

  • Playa Basin Field Days & Festivals.

  • Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors.

“HPWD is pleased to support these educators and researchers as they work to encourage water conservation education, promote more efficient water use, and improve crop production. Each approved project is designed to help conserve and preserve groundwater resources for the future,” said Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo.

For more information about HPWD supported research, please visit www.hpwd.org/research or call the district office at (806) 762-0181. You can also find HPWD on Facebook and Twitter.