Burnet County

Fri
21
Sep

Utopiafest organizers seek peace from protestors, Permit hangs in the balance

About 100 people attended a public meeting Sept. 19 to express concerns about a proposed festival permit that would bring thousands of people onto 105 acres just outside Burnet. A public hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Burnet County Commissioners Court.

 

 

 

 

Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor •

Utopiafest founder Travis Sutherland told more than 100 concerned Burnet County residents his festival is about “family, connection and community” during a public meeting Wednesday evening at the Burnet County AgriLife Extension building.

A public hearing on the permit is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, during a regular commissioners court meeting at the Burnet County Courthouse in Burnet.

However, many of those in attendance at Wednesday night’s meeting voiced their displeasure with organizers’ failure to notify them about the venue change to property off Shady Grove Road (County Road 200), as one local attorney even accused them of violating state law by promoting the now 10-year-old festival without a mass gathering permit.

Thu
06
Sep

Anti-mining dust up sparks Spicewood protest rallies

Lew Cohn/The Highlander
A Spicewood-area group, who have joined forces with the Texas Environmental Protection Coalition, will stage day-long protest rallies on Saturday and Sunday Sept. 8 and 9 at the entryway of Double Horn Creek subdivision. Supporters of the non-profit group (Pictured here in September 2017) protested a similar operation planned just off the Texas 71/U.S. 281 intersection.

 

 

 

 

 

By Connie Swinney •
Staff Writer •

A group of Spicewood residents has joined forces with a regional anti-mining group to fight plans for a rock-crushing plant and quarry operation on several hundred acres between two residential subdivisions, just off Texas 71.

The Spicewood Environmental Protection Alliance Texas (SEPATX) is hosting two protest rallies – one from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9; both at the corner of Texas 71 and Vista View Trail at the entrance of Doublehorn Creek subdivision.

Thu
06
Sep

Burnet County burn ban lifted

 

 

 

From staff reports

The Burnet County burn ban has been lifted as of Thursday, Sept. 6, Burnet County Judge James Oakley said.

Soaking rains fell throughout Burnet County this week, with some areas reporting up to three inches of precipitation within a 24-hour period ending at 6 a.m. Thursday. The rain caused the county's Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) average to drop 32 points from 523 to 491, with a high of 703 (just north of Burnet) and a low of 320 (near Marble Falls).

The KBDI is used to determine forest fire potential. The drought index is based on daily water balance, where a drought factor is balanced with precipitation and soil moisture (assumed to have a maximum storage capacity of eight inches) and is expressed in hundredths of an inch of soil moisture depletion.

Fri
31
Aug

Burnet County takes aim at illegal dumpers

Contributed/Burnet County Judge James Oakley
Burnet County officials contracted with a Fort Worth-based company to haul away eight rusted barrels filled with a dried resin Aug. 28 illegally dumped behind a Joppa Church into the San Gabriel River. The search for a suspect continues. Call Hill Country Area Crime Stoppers at 1-866-756-8477 to offer a tip and become eligible for a reward.

 

 

 

 

 

Connie Swinney
Staff Writer •
Law enforcement officials say illegal dumping cases are piling up in Burnet County.

During the week of Aug. 27, law enforcement reported one state jail felony arrest for illegal dumping on a property just outside Granite Shoals and unveiled two other large-scale dumping indictments – all while crews were in the midst of an un-related cleanup of several barrels illegally dumped behind a church in Joppa.

Sat
25
Aug

Horseshoe Bay brush fire near airport contained, residents return home

Lew Cohn/The Highlander
Fire crews eventually contained a wildfire Aug. 25 after it burned nearly 500 acres in an area of Llano County adjacent to the Horseshoe Bay Airport.

 

 

 

UPDATE: Fire agencies reported the brush fire 90 percent contained. As of 10 p.m. Aug. 25, evacuated residents returned home. No reports of property damage or injuries, according to the Llano County Office of Emergency Management.

From staff reports •

A piece of mulching equipment operating on the right-of-way on Texas 71 just inside Llano County near the Burnet County line caused a brush fire Saturday, Aug. 25, which threatened the Horseshoe Bay Airport and prompted officials to notify HSB residents of the need to evacuate for safety.

Officials were not sure exactly how many acres were burned Saturday afternoon. Residents living east and north of the airport were advised to evacuate to Quail Point Lodge, which is owned by the Horseshoe Bay Property Owners Association.

A helicopter could be seen dropping water on the fire and firefighters from multiple agencies responded to the blaze, which occurred after noon Saturday.

Fri
17
Aug

Burnet County proposes $36.87 million budget

By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor •

 Burnet County commissioners have proposed a budget of $36.87 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

Thu
16
Aug

Groundwater district declares stage two drought

Contributed/CTGCD
The Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District, responsible for monitoring wells in the unincorporated areas of Burnet County, has asked rural residents to reduce their consumption by 10 percent due to drought-like conditions.

 

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn/Managing Editor
The Highlander •

Burnet County citizens are being asked to reduce their overall water usage to help conserve water as the Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District has initiated Stage 2 of its Drought Management Plan.

Thu
16
Aug

Barrels dumped in river behind historic Joppa church contain chemical resin

Richard Zowie/The Highlander
At least eight, 55-gallon barrels of an unidentified, dried resin were discovered in the San Gabriel River behind the Joppa Church in Burnet County. Authorities are looking for suspects. Call 512-756-8080 with information.

 

 

 

 

By Connie Swinney
The Highlander •

Burnet County officials are awaiting tests results of a “dried resin” found in several 55-gallon barrels illegally dumped into a waterway Aug. 5 behind an historic church outside Bertram.

In the meantime, investigators want the public's help finding possible suspects, as they start the cleanup process behind the historic Joppa Church, 8425 County Road 210, and the San Gabriel River behind the building.

The Burnet County Sheriff's Office report stated that a church official discovered at least eight 55-gallon barrels that Sunday at the bottom of an embankment, floating in the river.

“Clean up of a small river like this can easily run into the millions of dollars if the contents were to be found as hazardous,” according to a statement by church officials. “We are praying that nothing highly toxic will be found.”

Fri
10
Aug

County 'ratifies' emergency order

Contributed
Scorched brush remains in the aftermath of a string of wildfires in July and August in Burnet County, including an area pictured here off Hoover's Valley Road.

 

 

 

UPDATE: As of Aug. 14, Burnet County Commissioners rescinded the disaster declaration but approved keeping a less restrictive burn ban in place.

By Connie Swinney
The Highlander

Thu
12
Jul

Road closures leave area officials feeling sidetracked

Courtesy Austin Western Railroad
The above map shows the short line track operated by Austin Western Railroad, including both the line from Llano to Giddings as well as a branch from Fairland to Marble Falls. Recent rail activity has led to delays and closures of roadways in Burnet County and has had an impact on first responders, local officials said.

 

 

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Continued closures of Burnet County highways and roads due to railway activity the past several days has left Burnet County officials feeling “sidetracked.”

It has even prompted Burnet County Judge James Oakley to ask Austin Western Railroad officials for a sitdown at the next Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday, July 24, to see what can be done to get the two sides back on the right track.

Meanwhile, Austin Western Railroad officials on Thursday apologized for the delays motorists and first responders experienced and explained what caused them.

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