Dear Editor, Describing Dripping Springs and its mayor, Todd Purcell, The Austin Chronicle wrote, “His city would end up penalized for its tougher water-quality regulations if other cities and counties failed to join him” (in adopting the Regional Water Quality Protection Plan) [“Naked City,” News, Oct. 13]. Of course we urge other jurisdictions to adopt the plan's higher water-quality standards, but how could tougher water-quality regulations possibly put Dripping Springs at a disadvantage when it is already overwhelmed with new development and has more knocking on the door? Dripping Springs has a huge ETJ covering about 25% or more of Hays County that is greatly desired by developers, and having strong water-quality regulations can only enhance property values and help to maintain the quality of life that draws so many people to its ETJ. It's the mayor and his obedient City Council who are penalizing us in the ETJ. We get the development and its problems. Purcell gets the impact fees for his pet projects. The ETJ gets Belterra and its request for direct discharge of wastewater effluent into our streams. Purcell gets development fees to help pay for a debt-crushing $15 million central sewer that will serve only a portion of the city's 1,500 population. Despite concerns of 20,000 disenfranchised citizens in the ETJ who cannot vote in city elections, and disenchanted city residents, Purcell pursues his personal vision for Dripping Springs and pays for it with high-density development in the ETJ.
Charles O'Dell, PhD HaysCAN Dripping Springs ETJ
[Editor's note: A clarification: as Kimberly Reeves reported, "Mayor Todd Purcell said his city would end up penalized for its tougher water-quality regulations if other cities and counties failed to join him." We reported accurately what the mayor said, and Charles O'Dell's disagreement is with the mayor.]