The Lower Colorado River Authority’s new leadership team’s public relations effort seemingly has paid dividends with Highland Lakes stakeholders expressing optimism that their concerns are being heard and acknowledged to a greater degree after years of frustration in their efforts to bring about better management of the water in the lakes.
But State Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, remains a persistent critic of the utility and especially of its latest plan to raise the rates its firm customers pay for stored water from the lakes.
Fraser, who is chairman of the State Senate’s Natural Resources Committee, has been critical of the proposed new water rates structure, planned to attend an LCRA meeting Thursday night in Bee Cave to make sure the utility’s leaders understand the extent of his displeasure.
The proposed rate structure for firm customers would raise rates from $151 per acre-foot to $175.46 per acre-foot in 2015, making the rates the highest of any other major basin in the state.
In addition, a three percent increase would occur each year from 2016 to 2019.
“I’m afraid these informational meetings are window dressing for the public and that the management and leadership at LCRA has already made the decision to place an undue burden on upper basin customers. My goal is to stop this runaway train,” Fraser said in interview before the meeting Thursday evening.