from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
June 9, 2008
Contact: Jody Withers

Senator Craig Estes responds to AG Opinion regarding Possum Kingdom Lake

Austin - State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) issued the following statement in response to AG Opinion GA-0634, regarding the valuation of real property surrounding Possum Kingdom Lake.

"First, I want to thank the Attorney General and his staff for their hard work and thorough review of these legal issues. I would also like to thank my colleague Senator Kip Averitt for requesting this Attorney General opinion in his capacity as Chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee with oversight of the Brazos River Authority.

"The opinion issued by the Attorney General confirms my legal understanding and proposal that the fair market value for the sale of leased property must include the value of the encumbered lease, and that this sale price would not be in violation of the state constitution.

"I have long advocated that the public interest would be better served if the Brazos River Authority were divested from the lakefront property leasing business around Possum Kingdom Lake and allowed to focus on its primary mission, which is the management of the water resources of the Brazos River to meet the needs of Texas.

"With these legal issues resolved, the BRA can proceed with the sale of individual properties to their current leaseholders at a fair market value as encumbered by the leases and consistent with state law."