This could be the most devastating vote affecting Barton Springs since 1990 when over 800 Austinites showed up to protest the Barton Creek PUD and saved the jewel of our city.
Now, the City of Dripping Springs has proposed to discharge treated sewage directly into Onion Creek, a major recharge feature to the Edwards Aquifer and Barton Springs. Area water watchdogs have been opposing this plan and working toward a more sustainable path forward. But we just learned that the City of Dripping Springs and the City of Austin have gone behind our backs to negotiate an agreement in secret.
We are calling on all Austinites again. Please act fast. Details on three important ways to help below — with more to come.
— Here's what you can do RIGHT NOW — 1) Show up to protest any settlement between the City of Austin and Dripping Springs. Come down to City Hall and sign up at the lobby kiosks as opposed to Item #29: «Discussion and action related to the City of Dripping Springs application to discharge treated wastewater effluent.»
Even if you can't stay, please sign up as opposed.
If you can stay, please speak against the item. The main talking points are: (a) the City of Austin should not be going behind the backs of other stakeholders who have been working to defend Barton Springs; (b) the Dripping Springs permit, as currently proposed, could devastate Barton Springs and set a horrible precedent for how we manage wastewater in the Hill Country; © the City of Austin should oppose any direct discharge of wastewater in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge and Contributing Zones; and (d) It is much too early for the City of Austin to consider settling on this matter. At the very least, give Council members time to understand what's at stake by postponing any action this week.
If you can stay, but you're uncomfortable speaking, please find someone with Save Our Springs or Save Barton Creek Association, who will be around the kiosks, and donate your time to a friendly voice.
2) Call or email the Austin City Council NOW! austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members
The message is really simple: Item 29 related to Dripping Springs wastewater permit should be postponed and should not be considered before the council has time to understand what's being proposed and the implications of those actions. The City of Austin should not go behind the backs of stakeholders working to protect Barton Springs!
3) Finally, share this event and encourage other Austinites to act. Both Austin and Dripping Springs have completely blindsided us with this action, and we are furious that this would be put on a Council agenda without any warning. We need your help in getting the word out and fast!
— We are hoping for time certain at 5:00 PM, which means the issue won't be heard before 5:00 PM, but we'll try to keep you updated here.
Current agenda here: austintexas.gov/department/city-council/2017/20171207-reg.htm#029
If you need to drive to City Hall, you can get your parking ticket validated for free parking.