Friday, March 4, 2011

Brazos River Authority - Where the water flows like money

The Water Flows Like Money – Part 2

By Darren Yancy
The Bill that keeps on giving

If you took the time to read through House Bill 3793 (HB3793), it may seem rather boring and without harm. However, the bill grants powers to the BRA that cannot be found in any other piece of Texas legislation. If someone can locate a similar bill for any of the other Texas water boards – please forward it to me. It gives the BRA broad powers on raising and finding funds, as well as eliminating any cap on the value of land that can be disposed of in any one year. What could unchecked ability on issuing debt do for taxpayers? Could this bill have any impact when the BRA sells off land around lakes they control? Could cronies of those that passed the bill profit?

Consider this – when the BRA started selling off land around Possum Kingdom in 2009, a planning process that went back 3 years, all of the land was sold to one group: Patterson Possum Kingdom Land Group headed up by Mike Patterson out of Arlington. The price was $52 million. Was that a brother-in-law price on all that lake front property? Rules of real estate is that land broken up into smaller parcels are worth more, so was this sale in the best interest of Texas?Well, let’s have a look. On April 11, 2006 the Staubach Company made a lengthy recommendation to the BRA Board to make changes to the Possum Kingdom Lake (PK Lake) portfolio. They recommended the BRA not sell of the assets. The reasons were pretty straight forward – loss of a paid for capital asset, loss of shoreline control, loss of water quality, and loss of environmental control. They stated the land value as of 2002 values were being assessed at $39 million...

NOW what have you paid? But, wait, there's more! Keep reading and learn all about how the BRA keeps issuing bonds for improvements they don't make. Click here to read the rest of the story...

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