On January 14, 2013 CFC representatives Emmanuel Flatten, Steve Spence, Nick Watson, Robert Chamberlain, Shirley Solis, Tom Parsons, Allen Goodwin & Frank Manitzas formally presented a petition with 349 signatures to the Kerr County Commissioner's Court.  CFC President Emmanuel Flatten delivered the petition and spoke at length concerning the need for water retention and flood mitigation in the Hill Country.  Commissioner Letz stated that Kerr County would assist with any efforts made by Kendall County, and Kenneth Rusch was working toward budgeting funds for such efforts.

Read the meeting minutes below as the CFC engages our neighboring County Commissioners.
The entire meeting's minutes can be found here.

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CFC Agenda Item Begins at Page 66, Line 18

          18             JUDGE TINLEY:  Motion carries.  Okay, we've got a

          19   10 o'clock timed item that we blew by, so we've got to go

          20   pick that up.  Item 16, the presentation of the Flood

          21   Mitigation Petition form from residents of the Comfort area,

          22   and possible discussion.  Commissioner Letz?

          23             COMMISSIONER LETZ:  Yes, I put this on the agenda.

          24   There's -- I think the Court's aware of it; I've talked about

          25   it several times.  In Comfort, there's some new FEMA maps.


           1   Comfort has a bit of a flooding problem, and any correction

           2   to that problem is going to likely have to be in Kerr County,

           3   because it's coming from Cypress Creek and North Creek,

           4   especially Cypress Creek.  But, anyway, a large group of

           5   citizens got together; they asked if they could come present

           6   a petition to us to show how important it is to that area,

           7   and I said certainly.  And I'll turn it over to Mr. Flatten

           8   and Mr. Spence.

           9             MR. FLATTEN:  I've got my public participation

          10   form.  I'm not sure who the clerk is here.  Seems like you're

          11   overqualified to be the clerk, Judge. 

          12             JUDGE TINLEY:  I end up with it anyway.  Thank you,

          13   sir.  Don't assume that. [Laughter]

          14             MR. FLATTEN:  I would like to thank the

          15   Commissioners and Judge Tinley for their time and their

          16   consideration.  I'm here -- my name is Emmanuel Flatten; I'm

          17   here from Comfort Floodplain Coalition, a grassroots

          18   organization consisting of citizens.  We have no formal

          19   membership, but our response has been quite positive, and

          20   numerous folks have -- have shown their support by attending

          21   our meetings and signing this petition.  We have here a

          22   petition which I'll present to you momentarily with 349

          23   signatures.  We're constantly garnering more, so the number

          24   is actually greater, but we can't afford a photocopy every

          25   time we get another signature.  I'll begin by reading the


           1   petition itself.

           2             We, the undersigned citizens of Kerr and Kendall

           3   Counties, having been impacted by repetitive flooding within

           4   the Guadalupe River Basin, hereby petition the leaders of

           5   Kerr and Kendall County to first study, then facilitate

           6   mitigation as deemed necessary by these studies.  The

           7   communities of Comfort, Waring, Sisterdale, Bergheim, Spring

           8   Branch, and Canyon Lake having sustained numerous floods in

           9   recent history, along with loss of life and property, have

          10   recognized the need for structural mitigations such as flood

          11   control dams on tributaries of the Guadalupe River.  In order

          12   to protect the health, safety, and welfare of these

          13   residents, it is imperative that the counties coordinate

          14   their efforts to maximize the effectiveness of flood

          15   mitigation activities undertaken.  In addition to flood

          16   control, this study should consider the benefits of these

          17   flood mitigation activities that they may have for water

          18   quality and enhancement and water availability within this

          19   segment of the Guadalupe River.  Now, therefore, we, the

          20   undersigned, petition the Commissioners Court of both Kerr

          21   and Kendall County to advocate for support and participate in

          22   all aspects of flood control studies, mitigation, and water

          23   enhancement projects along this segment of the Guadalupe

          24   River Basin.  Further, we hereby respectfully request that

          25   these studies be implemented as quickly as possible.


           1             So, that's the -- the request signed in this

           2   petition.  We understand that since then, there have been

           3   efforts to create an A.S.R., or aquifer storage and recovery

           4   system, or at least begin the process of studying such a

           5   solution.  Now, this will obviously increase our water

           6   supply, which we know is in dire need of attention.  In my

           7   handout here -- which I'll present to the clerk, I suppose?

           8   Here you are, sir.

           9             JUDGE TINLEY:  Thank you.

          10             MR. FLATTEN:  We lay out some of the studies -- or

          11   one of the studies done by AECOM, a large engineering firm,

          12   which resulted in showing western Kendall County at a 36

          13   percent deficit in needs of water supply.  So, this is not

          14   just within Kendall County.  Similar shortages are shown in

          15   the entire area.  So, we agree that some type of water --

          16   surface water resource is necessary.  So, we commend the

          17   Commissioners Court of Kerr County and Kendall County, as

          18   well as the other signators of the memorandum of

          19   understanding, M.O.U., for moving forward on this project.

          20   We see that in -- in other areas, multipurpose structures are

          21   often built, structures that not only serve for surface water

          22   retention or aquifer reclamation, but inherently, any time

          23   you hold back water, you are improving the flood situation

          24   downstream.

          25             Flooding is not a city-wide, a neighborhood-wide, a


           1   county-wide issue.  It's regional by nature.  Anything you do

           2   at the headwaters benefits or affects everyone downstream.

           3   So, having the counties and various municipal organizations

           4   working together is very exciting and encouraging for us, and

           5   we're asking that not only do we look into surface water

           6   resources, but also the benefits of flood mitigation that can

           7   be combined with this.  Now, I'd like to formally thank

           8   Commissioner Jonathan Letz for his attention to -- to our

           9   organization, and the members of our organization.  He's come

          10   and given us a wealth of information.  Our understanding from

          11   last Saturday's meeting a couple of days ago is that in this

          12   stage of seeking study grants and funding, you cannot combine

          13   the two benefits of water resource for industrial and

          14   personal use with flood mitigation.  Now, in the past, that

          15   has been a goal or a benefit.  We're very surprised that that

          16   has changed.  So, we encourage at whatever stage you can

          17   merge these two benefits, that that is taken into account and

          18   -- and done.

          19             Just to briefly look over the handout that I handed

          20   forward, flood control structures work well.  We have over

          21   2,000 dams in Texas.  And whether you call them dams or flood

          22   mitigation structures or A.S.R.'s, they basically hold water

          23   when we are in surplus, and release water when we're in

          24   deficit, right?  Rather than have a water supply that's like

          25   an ocean wave, we have -- we mediate or moderate that -- that


           1   resource.  Having over 2,000 of these, we know they work

           2   well.  According to a 2002 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

           3   report, between 1991 and 2000, nine years, flood damages

           4   totaled $45 billion.  Considerable amount.  But a further

           5   $208 billion in damages were averted entirely by the A.C.E.

           6   flood control projects, those Corps of Engineers projects.

           7   Between 1940 and 2000, 60 years, the Army Corps of Engineers

           8   spent 100 billion on flood control.  So, in nine years, we

           9   more than covered our investment of the past 60 years.  So,

          10   we know they work.  The numbers -- the numbers are there.

          11   And by the sheer number of them in Texas, we know they work.

          12             And all the way upstream of Comfort, I don't know

          13   of a single flood control structure on Cypress Creek.  I

          14   could be wrong, but it's overdue.  It's been a difficult

          15   thing to do in the past, and folks have tried.  But Comfort

          16   is in an interesting situation.  We're not incorporated, so

          17   we have no gathered voice inherently locally.  Also, we're

          18   right on the county line, so anything to be done in our -- to

          19   benefit our community has to be done in your county, and

          20   that's why we're here before you today.  In 1984, there was a

          21   pre-application study done to determine the feasibility of

          22   assistance for the Cypress Creek, and we received this from,

          23   I believe, the Soil and Water Conservation District here in

          24   Kerr County, and they proposed four different structures.

          25   One of the structures showed a cost benefit ratio of .78 to


           1   1, which is very, very close to the one-to-one needed at the

           2   time.  I know that things have changed a little bit since

           3   then, but very, very close.  Recently, there was a dam

           4   completed on the dry Comal Creek, and it received a .49 to 1

           5   cost benefit ratio, yet now they have that flood control

           6   structure.  So, it seems that we were so close before, just

           7   with a preliminary study, and I'm sure that the 178 homes

           8   taken into account now, there would be a lot more homes in

           9   that study, therefore showing a greater cost benefit ratio if

          10   we were to move forward on something like that.

          11             MR. SPENCE:  Ask for questions.

          12             MR. FLATTEN:  If Steve has nothing to add

          13   currently, I'd like to open it up to questions from the

          14   Court.

          15             JUDGE TINLEY:  Any member of the Court have any

          16   questions for these gentlemen?

          17             COMMISSIONER MOSER:  So this is for Cypress Creek

          18   only?

          19             MR. SPENCE:  Not necessarily.  North Creek also

          20   contributes to flooding in Comfort, as, of course, does the

          21   Guadalupe River.  But the Guadalupe River, we understand, is

          22   off-limits.

          23             COMMISSIONER MOSER:  The Guadalupe River is

          24   off-limits?

          25             JUDGE TINLEY:  G.B.R.A.


           1             COMMISSIONER LETZ:  Well, primarily because it's --

           2   when I visited with them, and from what I understand, trying

           3   to do any kind of a flood -- any structure on Guadalupe River

           4   almost cannot be done, just because of the -- you'll have to

           5   get every water rights owner downstream on board, and the

           6   likelihood of that happening is very, very slim.

           7             COMMISSIONER MOSER:  But that's not true for

           8   Cypress Creek?

           9             COMMISSIONER LETZ:  Cypress Creek's -- it's a

          10   tributary, but it's a lot less -- it's probably easier to do

          11   something in Cypress Creek or North Creek.

          12             MR. FLATTEN:  Our flooding issues occur when both

          13   Cypress Creek and the Guadalupe flooding are combined.

          14   Solving one issue or the other, one of -- one of either

          15   watercourse will greatly benefit the area.

          16             COMMISSIONER OEHLER:  'Cause the Guadalupe holds

          17   back --

          18             COMMISSIONER MOSER:  Sure.

          19             MR. FLATTEN:  Cypress can't drain.

          20             COMMISSIONER MOSER:  So, the thing that's

          21   specifically being requested is --

          22             COMMISSIONER LETZ:  Really, at this point, it's

          23   just a petition to know -- I think it's for us to be aware of

          24   the problem.  The solution is really being -- at the present

          25   time, anyway, Kendall County is kind of in the driver's seat


           1   on it.  They are looking at various grants, feasibility

           2   studies.  And I have told them that, you know, we would

           3   certainly be interested in supporting them on those

           4   endeavors.  It's much more of a Kendall County issue, though

           5   the solution is going to be in Kerr County.  I think that we,

           6   you know, certainly would work with them.  If Comfort does

           7   become incorporated, it will be both incorporated in Kerr and

           8   Kendall County, so it's going to be -- you know, that could

           9   happen down the road.  Hopefully it will.  So, I think this

          10   is kind of just more of an informational item to keep it on

          11   our forefront.

          12             COMMISSIONER MOSER:  Okay.

          13             COMMISSIONER LETZ:  And there are grants that we're

          14   looking at.  There was a grant that was due -- or the

          15   deadline was the end of -- or the 20th of January, but it was

          16   a 50-50 match, and Kendall County didn't have any money

          17   budgeted for it.  And, obviously, we didn't.  And so they --

          18   they couldn't go forward on that grant.  They're looking at

          19   some other -- for next year, they're planning on putting

          20   money, hopefully, in Kendall County's budget, according to

          21   Commissioner Rusch, you know, to proceed with these grants,

          22   'cause some of them -- they all are have some sort of county

          23   contribution.  Anyway, thank y'all.

          24             MR. SPENCE:  Thank you very much, and here's the

          25   petition.


           1             JUDGE TINLEY:  And we'll accept your petition, sir.

           2   Thank you.

           3             MR. SPENCE:  And we're grateful for your attention.

           4             COMMISSIONER LETZ:  Thank you.