The Board of Directors of the Lost Creek Limited District continues to monitor SB 1499, the “Lost Creek disannexation” legislation. At present, SB 1499 provides for:
- Disannexation of an area from a municipality (e.g. Lost Creek from the City of Austin)
- The City to retain ownership of the water infrastructure
- Disannexation to be decided by a vote of the Lost Creek electorate in November 2021
- Dissolution of the Limited District only if the “members of the governing body of the district” elect to dissolve it after disannexation
As stated previously, the Board has not participated in the preparation or filing of the legislation—nor has the Board approved or endorsed bill language. The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between the Limited District and the City of Austin prohibits the Limited District from engaging in litigation or legislative processes to challenge the annexation of Lost Creek. This does not mean that the Limited District is restricted from communicating with residents about the language or impact of SB 1499.
With respect to the current version of SB 1499:
- The Board believes it has a duty to protect Limited District assets (parks, greenbelts, community building, etc.) and the dissolution language does prevent unilateral dissolution by the City of Austin. The Board has been informed that the intent is for the electorate to hold the power to dissolve the Limited District, but the current language reads as placing the continued existence of the Limited District solely in the hands of the current or future directors.
While the Board has taken no position on disannexation, it supports a democratic process for residents to make that decision after the full terms of the legislation are set, as well as an orderly process for transition tasks (including likely negotiation of changes to the SPA)—the Board believes the language in the current version of SB 1499 allows for both.
As to the second point, the Board believes the process in SB 1499 will provide time and information to help address incorrect and incomplete information currently circulating. One example is the assertion that the Limited District would return to being a Municipal Utility District (MUD). SB 1499 currently states the City would continue to own the water infrastructure, the Limited District would not return to being a MUD, and residents would continue to be serviced by Austin Water.
The Limited District encourages residents to review SB 1499 and participate in the legislative process—more information is available here.