Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

October 21, 2013

BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL: New lakeside homes, the importance of water, ‘spooktacular’ bull riding and the Rusk zombie extravaganza … all in this week’s Business Confidential

CHEROKEE COUNTY — You might have noticed the Lake Jacksonville subdivision story on the front page of Wednesady's Jacksonville Daily Progress. I originally had intended to make it a business page story only, but became conflicted about that idea upon reflection.

I felt putting it on the front cover would be robbing this page of appropriate content. But not putting it on Page One would be basically doing the same thing. Therefore, I decided to compromise and wok in tandem – that aforementioned Wednesday front page story and this top mention in “Business Confidential.”

So here goes: There's a new subdivision in development in the Lakeshore Drive area near Lake Jacksonville, courtesy of area developer Steve Berry, his brother Kirk Berry, and sister Sheron Stewart.

The property used to belong to the Stripling family.

Jacksonville City Building Official Jody Watson has said the property is a drive away from Jacksonville's soccer fields toward the lake. There is a "Y" in the road there, and drivers can either turn toward the concession or keep driving down Lakeshore. Before you get to the lake, it's the property on the right, running from Lakeshore all the way to Byrd.

There's naught but timber visible there right now, but one should expect fairly excellent homes to spring up in the near future.

Steve Berry said there are 25 available lots now and enough land left to build 100 more. The lots will be on the market in roughly a month or so.

 Berry estimated it would cost $29,500 per lot and for folks who want their houses built by the same people they get the land from, such effort will cost roughly  $150,000 in the starting out range.

Officials: A 'yes' vote for Prop. 6 is a 'pro-water' vote

Basically, water is money in Texas. Plentiful water is good for business and drought is a deal-breaker – a money-killer. One thirsty mess, really.

That's why both State Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches and members of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association are very vocally urging voters to get out and approve Proposition 6 in the upcoming, Nov. 5 Constitutional Election. (Early voting begins Oct. 21 and runs through Nov. 1.)

This is an issue that affects everyone, not just ranchers and landowners, officials say..

If  approved, Proposition 6 would create the State Water Implementation Fund, otherwise known SWIFT. It would allow the appropriation of $2 billion from the Economic Stabilization Fund.

The Texas Water Development Board would be directed on how to make use of this fund.

These funds will help finance priority water projects, including rural water projects, to ensure Texas has adequate water resources for the future.

 Implementation of SWIFT might not be completed until March 2015, according to reports.

 Remember that historic drought awhile back? The effects are still being felt in Texas. Water supplies are still diminishing even as the population continues to increase.

If you can't do the math, then think "thirsty" times infinity.

Early voters, incidentally, can get more information by visiting http://www.watertexas.com/ or http://votetexas.gov/voting/where.

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