"Officials ask people to tell Sunset panel about LCRA" by: Mike Reddell

   There is a lot at stake for Matagorda County and the lower Colorado River basin when the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission reviews LCRA later this year, County Judge Nate McDonald said.
   The judge is encouraging Matagorda County residents to tell what they think of LCRA to the Texas Sunset Commission, which is reviewing the river authority in 2018, with hearings on LCRA Dec. 12-13 in Austin.
   “We’ve got to tell legislators what we want LCRA to do – try to determine future course of LCRA,” the judge told a recent meeting of government and business leaders.
   Bay City Chamber of Commerce President Mitch Thames said it’s important for the Sunset to know how important the river’s flow is to lower basin agriculture and to the health of the Matagorda Bay system.
   “Lower river basin residents have to tell state their story,” Thames said.
   “The upper basin people will be motivated, with their main points of economic development and property values” and demanding the river be kept at constant level for Highland reservoirs, Thames said.
   Constant level on those reservoirs often comes at the expense of the river levels downstream.
   Matagorda County agriculture is a $250 million industry and a significant part of that is irrigated crop acreage, Matagorda County Agent Emeritus James Engbrock said.
   McDonald is referring residents to fill out a Sunset Commission survey to evaluate LCRA’s performance. 
   The questionnaire can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XXD6VVS. 
   The survey must be completed by July 20.
   The Sunset Review Commission developed the survey independently of LCRA and will keep survey respondents’ information confidential. 

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