The Standard Times reported:
The city of San Angelo is seeking to purchase the land overlying its Hickory Aquifer water leases.Right now the city is both the lessee and lessor. Stay tuned for how this works out. In the meantime your water bill is paying for the city's future development of this property.
City Council met Monday morning and authorized its staff to negotiate the purchase, with authority to pay up to $1,350 per acre for the Ford Ranch, the 32,000-acre McCulloch County property where the well field is located. The transaction could involve up to $43 million.
The city says the purchase price can be funded out of the water revenue fund. City water customers saw a rate increase last year intended to finance water infrastructure projects up to $136 million, and the ranch purchase would fall within that scope.
The ranch could be resold at some point in the future, with the city in control of the water lease terms. "We could fully determine how much water any future owner could use. In doing so, San Angelo could protect what is rightfully ours … with the added benefit of reselling the ranch once we had and recouping much of the purchase price."