Burnet County news


Burnet County hires crews to remove flood debris, discusses environmental crimes unit

As illegal dumping cases have surged in the Highland Lakes, Burnet County Commissioners on Feb. 12 approved applying for additional grants to potentially expand funding, which may include an additional position, for the Burnet County Environmental Crimes Unit, which operates under the Burnet County precinct 4 constable's office.





By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

Burnet County Commissioners Feb. 12 approved bids for companies to remove, dispose and monitor the process of disposing of large piles of debris, trash and flood-damaged structures collected in the wake of the October 2018 Highland Lakes flood event.

The court chose Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) to remove the piles, stored in a section of Quarry Park, adjacent to Granite Shoals.

“We would like to thank the city of Granite Shoals for being the host of this debris that was collected all along the Highland Lakes,” Burnet County Judge James Oakley said.

On Oct. 16, historic flooding from the Llano River swept down the Colorado River into the Highland Lakes causing massive shoreline flooding in communities including Kingsland, Horseshoe Bay, Granite Shoals and Marble Falls.


LCRA gives solid account

Glynis Crawford Smith/Burnet Bulletin

At the 'State of the LCRA' luncheon held at Wirtz Dam last Wednesday, Oct. 12, Marble Falls City Manager Mike Hodge greets Burnet Mayor Crista Gogle Bromley.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

Burnet Bulletin

General manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority, Phil Wilson, made his annual “State of the LCRA” presentation Wednesday, Oct. 11, to more than 60 city and county officials from up and down the river.

“The LCRA power plants can provide power for 600,000 homes when demand is at its highest,” he told the crowd gathered at the Wirtz Dam conference center. “We spend about a million dollars every year in capital improvement projects.”

“LCRA is the second biggest transmission company in Texas, with about 5,000 miles of lines,” said Wilson. “We have about $2 billion in transmission assets and we will spend another billion dollars in transmission lines.”

Wilson outlined work on projects aimed at future need. The Lane City Reservoir in Wharton County, he said, could add 90,000 acre-feet of water to the region downstream when it opens next year.

Existing dams have not been neglected.


PEC Board votes 6-0 to investigate Oakley complaint, consider possible removal

James Oakley

The Pedernales Electric Cooperative Board of Directors voted 6-0 Wednesday, Nov. 30, to give written notice to director James Oakley that the board will consider his possible removal on Jan. 17 if a complaint filed against Oakley is found to merit such discipline.

In a resolution approved at a special called meeting, the board voted to establish a committee to investigate the complaint against Oakley and determine what punishment, if any, he may face for a social media post made earlier in the month in which Oakley commented it was “time for a tree and a rope” for the suspected killer of a San Antonio police officer.

Board President Emily Pataki indicated the committee, which will be comprised of directors Kathy Scanlon, Paul Graf and herself, can consider all avenues open to them through the cooperative's bylaws, including removing Oakley from the position he has held since 2013.


Oakley Facebook comment draws fire

Facebook is a wonderful tool for people to use, but like any tool, it should be used with great care.

The social media site is useful for helping people keep in contact with friends scattered across the globe whom they haven’t spoken to for years. It allows family to reconnect and allows the sharing of photos, ideas and news with others within one’s peer group.

However, it also instantly shows, without context, intent or clarity, the thoughts and ideas a person clacks out on their smartphone or computer keyboard and exposes those posts to instant scrutiny.

Such is the case involving Burnet County Judge James Oakley, who learned a very hard lesson this past week about the lack of anonymity Facebook affords.

On Monday, Nov. 21, Oakley shared a post from the San Antonio Police Department about the arrest of an African-American man, Otis Tyrone McKane, accused of killing San Antonio police Det. Benjamin Marconi on his personal Facebook account.


Officials gather public input for bridge at Wirtz Dam



Residents and commuters now have opportunity to weigh-in on the proposed Wirtz Dam, a transportation project that has been in the making since 1974.

The community outreach program for the dam project, which began in September, is the culmination of years of anticipation for Burnet County officials.

“This was on the 1974 Burnet County Transportation Plan,” said Joe Don Dockery, Burnet County Commissioner Pct. 1.

The next step wasn't completed until 2005, when a feasibility study was completed indicating that a bridge at Wirtz Dam would be beneficial to the community.

Following a meeting conducted by CAMPO (Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) on Sept. 9, the campaign for public opinion regarding the Wirtz Dam Bridge is officially underway.

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