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Agency expresses its support for keeping Cape’s Dam

Letter to the Editor
Sunday, January 27, 2019

Editor,

The Hays County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) would like to take this opportunity to address the San Marcos City Council and announce their support for Cape’s Dam and the Mill Race and to encourage the City Council to designate Cape’s Dam with a local historical landmark status on the basis that the Mill Race and Cape’s Dam allowed farmers to survive and thrive. The Mill Race serves as a connection and reminder of our agricultural past.

From a historic agricultural standpoint, the SWCD would like to remind the public and the San Marcos City Council of the agrarian history of the San Marcos area, where a gin and mill were operated; bringing prosperity to the area. Plus, some of the oldest water rights in the county fall just behind Cape’s Dam.

Hays County SWCD Treasurer and former Hays County Agricultural Extension Agent, Cliff Caskey says, “We know what — we have a historically significant dam; that serves as a reminder to the history of the San Marcos area. So, let’s keep it.”

All SWCD members agree that one of the first aspects that come to mind when the topic of protection of Cape’s Dam is brought up is the cost of removal and the unintended consequences that will follow removal regarding the Mill Race which is a natural section of the river.

It is the request of the Hays County SWCD that Cape’s Dam be left in place, which would sustain water flow down the Mill Race, reduce ongoing bank erosion; in turn preserving habitat for aquatic species and restore the historic integrity of the property which was determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Soil and Water Conservation District is a subdivision of state government and is a board of five local agricultural, landowner representatives from specific areas of the county; elected by their fellow landowners And the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board is a state agency that administers Texas’ soil and water conservation law and coordinates conservation.

For more information about the Hays County Soil and Water Conservation District’s position on Cape’s Dam you can email the SWCD at hayscounty@swcd.texas.gov.

Josh Storm

Chairman Hays County SWCD