At a press conference at the 5th Annual Council Cleans the Pool on Thursday, August 12th, Senator Kirk Watson presented a $300,000 check to the Friends of Barton Springs Pool on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quaility. Officials who were present include: Mayor Lee Leffingwell; Senator Kirk Watson, County Commissioner Karen Huber, State Rep. Donna Howard, and Austin City Council Members Sheryl Cole, Mike Martinez, Bill Spelman, Laura Morrison, and Chris Riley.
With the encouragement of Senator Kirk Watson, FBSP applied to the TCEQ for Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) funding. The grant in the amount of $300,000 will be passed through to the City of Austin to help with the cost of repairs to the bypass tunnel by establishing establish an improved outlet gate onto the bypass tunnel to help manage water levels and aid in maintenance of the pool.
These particular SEP funds resulted from water pollution fines collected after Travis County environmental staff investigated the 2007 pollution in Hamilton Creek and Hamilton Pool. The Travis County Attorney, Hays County and TX Attorney General successfully sued for damages to this unique Hill Country stream. Most funds go to Travis County for the cleanup of Hamilton Pool, but $300,000 of the funds received by the State of Texas will go to our Barton Springs Pool SEP.
Afterwards, elected officials and volunteers grabbed their brooms donated by the Austin City Council and began their yearly tradition of cleaning Barton Springs Pool with FBSP.
The Friends of Barton Springs Pool is an organization creating a community of people to restore Barton Springs Pool to its rightful glory. www.friendsofbartonspringspool.org.