Commissioners told of regional water planning efforts

Liz Fazio Hale, executive director of Riverbend Water Resources District, spoke to the Cass County Commissioners Court during a workshop last week about approving a resolution supporting Riverbend’s upcoming efforts.
Riverbend is a conservation and reclamation district that provides water and wastewater services to the Red River Army Depot and TexAmericas Center. It also represents water supply interests for three counties -- including Cass County -- and 12 municipalities in northeast Texas. 
“Riverbend has made a concerted effort over the last two years at least to work on looking at our resources and what that means for our future,” said Hale. “Are we going to sell water to the Metroplex? I don’t know that answer, but if we do and our residents decide that’s something they want to do, then we want to make sure there is enough water for our future and to take care of our needs.”
Hale spoke about Riverbend’s work on an extensive regional master plan. The plan will include a new water intake, improvements to intake system pipelines, expansion of future water treatment in Cass County and implementation of the ‘Ultimate Rule Curve’. Hale asked the court to consider a resolution supporting Riverbend’s work on that implementation.
The ‘Ultimate Rule Curve’ would raise the water level of Lake Wright Patman so more water will be available.
“This resolution doesn’t guaranty anybody water … it doesn’t even guaranty Riverbend water rights, what is says to the state is here is the agent and representative who we are going to work with on behalf of all of these entities to get this water and there is a particular focus on rural areas,” said Hale.
The resolution was scheduled to be voted on during the next meeting of the commissioners court.
Also at the workshop, Tad Beall from the law firm of Perdue, Brandon, Fielder, Collins and Mott presented a status report on delinquent taxes to commissioners. “We have total amount due to Cass County of $1,204,000 and some change,” said Beall. “There have not been a lot of bankruptcies, about $9,000.” 
Beall also spoke about deferrals in Cass County and reported 12 percent deferrals. “Deferrals are becoming more of an issue statewide, if someone is over 65 and have a homestead they get a deferral and that means they can legally defer or stop paying their taxes,” said Beall.
Beall also reported that there are a large number of bad addresses on file which makes it hard to contact property owners.

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