Wirtz Dam


Burnet County looking at $2.5 million in tax notes

File photo
The Wirtz Dam Road bridge project is moving forward with a $425,000 stipend by Burnet County Commissioners to allow for several upfront payments for planning, surveying and engineering for the crossing.




By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Burnet County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday, Dec. 11, to begin the process of obtaining $2.5 million in 2019 tax anticipation notes to fund a number of projects, including $1.6 million for upgrades to the Burnet County Jail and 9-1-1 dispatching.

Also included is $425,000 that would help the county begin making upfront payments on planning, surveying and engineering for a new Wirtz Dam Road bridge crossing as part of an advanced funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), which commissioners also approved at their regular meeting.


Llano River crashes into the Highland Lakes, shuttering schools, collapsing a bridge, prompting evacuations

Judge James Oakley/Burnet County
Rising floodwaters traveling through the Llano River Oct. 16, into the Highland Lakes has caused damage to lakeside structures, closed area school districts and prompted evacuations.




From Staff Reports •


Floodwaters to prompt gate operations at Max Starcke and Wirtz dams

Lew K. Cohn/The Highlander
Several flood gates of Max Starcke Dam (pictured above in April 2016) are slated to be opened — along with gates at Wirtz Dam — to pass floodwaters rushing in from Junction into the Llano River through to Lake LBJ and Lake Marble Falls. While Lake Marble Falls is expected to be kept at a constant level, the pass through is expected to create fast-moving currents and residents are advised to use caution.






From staff reports •

The Lower Colorado River Authority was expected to open flood gates at Wirtz and Starcke Dams Tuesday, Oct. 9, and Wednesday, Oct. 10, due to a large inflow of water from flooding along the Llano River which will pass through Lake Marble Falls.

City of Marble Falls issued an alert Monday afternoon to remind residents that while Lake Marble Falls' level is expected to remian within its normal operating range as a constant-level lake, fast moving currents could carry away unsecured boats and other aquatic items. Residents were being asked to monitor weather conditions for the next several days as conditions could change.


9.07-pound largemouth bass caught on Lake LBJ

David McGuffey and his latest catch


David McGuffey of Marble Falls is no stranger to catching big fish. He previously caught the lake record bass on Lake Marble Falls and while the largemouth he caught Thursday, June 15, at Wirtz Dam on Lake LBJ is not a record-setter, it still is a pretty nice catch.

McGuffey reeled in a certified 9.07-pound, 26.5-inch-long largemouth bass at 4 p.m. using a five-inch Senko worm for bait.

“He was feeding on shad and I caught him on the first cast on the rip raff (a bank of rock leading to the dam),” McGuffey said.

McGuffey owns a guide service and still holds the Lake Marble Falls for an 11.18-pound largemouth bass he caught in 2010.

Asked if he planned to have the fish mounted, McGuffey replied, “I don't know … I'm still just shaking!”


CAMPO expands Wirtz Dam Road outreach program

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander


A newsletter and a link to a community survey about a potential north-south Colorado River crossing below Wirtz Dam have been launched by the Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and two public meetings have been scheduled on the topic.

When CAMPO met with Highland Lakes governmental representatives in Marble Falls on Sept. 9, staff members were finalizing the survey to gather public opinion on the project. In the weeks since and with plans to continue through November, they have moved through public events such as FiestaJAM and the Burnet Bluegrass Festival discussing the project with the people they met.

Now, two public meetings will take that interface a step further. The open house discussions to share information and gather input each will take place from 4-7 p.m.


LCRA flood operations to continue

Although local skies should remain mostly sunny, waterfront residents and travelers need to remain on alert along the Highland Lakes.

A ridge of high pressure, strengthening across Texas will create sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s, here, mostly through Saturday, according to Bob Rose, Lower Colorado River Authority chief meteorologist. However, the National Weather Service issued a Sever Weather Alert for Tuesday, April 26, that could have renewed showers extending to the upstream territory of the Colorado River.

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