Texas State Library and Archives Commission

San Antonio River Authority:

An Inventory of San Antonio River Authority Records at the Texas State Archives, 1963-1964, 1972-1975, 1986-2007, bulk 1986-2007



Overview

Creator: San Antonio River Authority
Title: San Antonio River Authority records
Dates: 1963-1964, 1972-1975, 1986-2007
Dates: bulk 1986-2007
Abstract: The San Antonio River Authority is charged by the state of Texas to preserve, protect and manage the resources and environment of the San Antonio River and its tributaries. Records of the authority are primarily minutes dating 1986 to 2007, and reports, 1963-1964, 1972-1975, including annual financial reports for the years 1972 through 1975.
Quantity: 2 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

The San Antonio River Authority is charged by the state of Texas to preserve, protect and manage the resources and environment of the San Antonio River and its tributaries. The San Antonio River Authority was established as the San Antonio River Canal and Conservancy District by the 45th Texas Legislature in 1937. At that time the district's boundaries were limited to Bexar County, but it had the authority to acquire easements outside the county. The agency's original purpose was to seek development of a barge canal from the Gulf Coast to the city of San Antonio, but its functions were expanded in 1939 to include the promotion of flood control. Early studies addressed both the canal project and flood control concerns, but after floods in September 1946 cost San Antonio six lives and $2.1 million in property damage, the district discontinued its navigation studies in favor of flood control efforts.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed its study of the San Antonio River Basin in 1951, recommending the channelization of 2.1 miles of Escondido Creek in the city of Kenedy and thirty-one miles of improvements along the San Antonio River and its tributaries in San Antonio. Both the San Antonio Channel Improvement Project and the Escondido Creek Channelization Project were approved by Congress with the passage of the Flood Control Act of September 3, 1954. The San Antonio River Authority (as the San Antonio River Canal and Conservancy District was renamed in 1953) acted as the local sponsor of the projects and was responsible for obtaining partial funding and all necessary rights-of-way, as well as for relocating all utilities and constructing all required bridges and in-channel dams. The river authority was initially funded through the proceeds of a state flood-control tax, but this source of money was eliminated by a 1948 constitutional amendment. In 1951 Bexar County instituted a thirty-cent ad valorem tax, fifteen cents of which was to be used by the district to finance the nonfederal cost of its flood-control projects. In 1955 Bexar County authorized the sale of $12 million in bonds, to be repaid over thirty years through the flood-control tax.

In 1961 the legislature enlarged the authority's jurisdiction, adding Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties to make the water authority's district conform roughly with the San Antonio River Basin. The legislature also expanded the duties of the agency to include the conservation and use of ground water in the district, irrigation, sewage treatment, pollution prevention, development of parks and recreational facilities, reforestation, and preservation of fish species. The governing board of the authority was expanded from nine appointed to twelve elected members: six from Bexar and two each from Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties. Members were elected on a nonpartisan basis to serve six-year, staggered terms. Board policies were implemented under the direction of a board-appointed manager.

Through the efforts of Congressman Henry B. Gonzales, the authority obtained funding in 1963 to renew feasibility studies for the barge canal project; however, after several years the project was set aside indefinitely because of the inadequate ratio of cost to potential benefits. The authority turned its efforts instead toward pollution prevention and sewage treatment facilities, as well as continuing its work on flood control through the river channel improvement project. Delays and cost increases associated with the channel improvements had raised the local obligation to $21 million. Efforts to raise revenue through increased county taxes failed, meaning that additional funds to finish the projects would have to come from the city of San Antonio and from state and federal sources. In 1976 the authority's flood control contract with the county was restructured so that $30 million would be available for modifications to Olmos Dam, reconstruction of San Juan Dam, and channel improvements along Six Mile and San Pedro creeks.

In 1982 the San Antonio River Authority and the Corps of Engineers began to consider the feasibility of a bypass system to divert flood water through two tunnels to be built under downtown San Antonio, instead of risking uncontrolled flooding along the Paseo del Río. The authority obtained the necessary rights-of-way, and construction of the tunnel began in 1988. In 1990 an amendment to the 1976 contract provided for an additional $40 million in local revenue. In 1992 the San Pedro Creek tunnel, which was 24 feet 4 inches in diameter and 6,000 feet in length, had been built beneath the city and was operational; the San Antonio River Tunnel, which was the same diameter but was three miles in length, was scheduled for completion in 1995. In the 1980s the authority conveyed several tracts of land near Mission San Juan to the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. By 2006 the river authority operated 42 flood control structures, three sewage treatment plants, 173 water-sampling stations, and three fee-supported public recreational areas (Braunig Park, Calaveras Park, and Jackson Nature Park).

(Sources include: Handbook of Texas Online article, "San Antonio River Authority" (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/mws02); and the San Antonio River Authority website (http://www.sara-tx.org/); both accessed May 2, 2012.)


Scope and Contents of the Records

The San Antonio River Authority is charged by the state of Texas to preserve, protect and manage the resources and environment of the San Antonio River and its tributaries. Records of the authority are primarily minutes dating 1986 to 2007, and reports, 1963-1964, 1972-1975, including annual financial reports for the years 1972 through 1975.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.


 

Organization of the Records

The records are organized into two series by State Archives staff:
Minutes, 1986-2007, 1.8 cubic ft.
Reports, 1963-1964, 1972-1975, 0.2 cubic ft.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

None.


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Subjects:
Water resources development--Texas--San Antonio River Watershed (Tex.)
Conservation of natural resources--Texas--San Antonio River Watershed (Tex.)
Places:
San Antonio River Watershed (Tex.)
San Antonio River (Tex.)
Document Types:
Minutes--Water resources development--Texas--San Antonio River Watershed (Tex.)--1986-2007.
Reports--Water resources development--Texas--San Antonio River Watershed (Tex.)--1963-1964, 1972-1975.
Functions:
Conservation of natural resources.
Water resources development.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Water Quality Board, Records, 1969-1977, undated, 3.47 cubic ft.
United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Reclamation studies in Texas, 1940-1967, 9.84 cubic ft. ["A Summary of the Preliminary Plan for Proposed Water Resources Development in the San Antonio River Basin," July 1966, is in Box 2-22/285; "A Summary of the Preliminary Plan for Proposed Water Resources Development in the San Antonio-Neches Coastal Basin," July 1966, is in Box 2-22/284.]

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), San Antonio River Authority records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1998/194, 1999/015, 2000/036, 2002/090, 2003/153, 2004/126, 2005/125, 2005/171, 2006/263, 2007/086

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the San Antonio River Authority on June 26, 1998; September 29, 1998; September 29, 1999; January 7, 2002; April 29, 2003; April 14, 2004; March 7, 2005; March 7, 2006; and January 22, 2007; and by the Texas Legislative Reference Library on August 9, 2005.

Processing Information

Processed by Tony Black, March 2005

New accessions of minutes added by Tony Black, March 2006

New accessions of reports and minutes added by Rebecca Romanchuk, August 2006, February 2007, May 2012

Other Formats for the Records

The San Antonio River Authority posts electronic versions of its meeting minutes and agendas on its website at http://www.sara-tx.org/public_information/board_of_directors/agendas_and_minutes.php.


Detailed Description of the Records

 

Minutes, 1986-2007,
1.8 cubic ft.

The San Antonio River Authority is charged by the state of Texas to preserve, protect and manage the resources and environment of the San Antonio River and its tributaries. Minutes dating 1986 to 2007 document in a thorough but summary fashion the official actions of the San Antonio River Authority.
Arrangement
These records are arranged in chronological order by State Archives staff.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Minutes, San Antonio River Authority records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession Information
Accession numbers: 1998/194, 1999/015, 2000/036, 2002/090, 2003/153, 2004/126, 2005/125, 2006/263, 2007/086
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the San Antonio River Authority on June 26, 1998; September 29, 1998; September 29, 1999; January 7, 2002; April 29, 2003; April 14, 2004; March 7, 2005; March 7, 2006; and January 22, 2007.
Processing Information
Processed by Tony Black, March 2005
New accessions of minutes added by Tony Black, March 2006
New accessions of minutes added by Rebecca Romanchuk, August 2006, February 2007, May 2012
Box
1998/194-1 February 1986 thru December 1994
Box
1998/194-2 January 1995 thru May 1998
Box
1998/194-3 July 1998
August 1998
September 1998
October 1998
November 1998
December 1998
January 1999
February 1999
March 1999
April 1999
May 1999
June 1999
July 1999
August 1999
September 1999
October 1999
November 1999
December 1999
January 2000
February 2000
March 2000
April 2000
May 2000
June 2000
July 2000
Box
1998/194-4 August 2000
September 2000
October 2000
November 2000
December 2000
January 2001
February 2001
March 2001
April 2001
May 2001
June 2001
July 2001
August 2001
September 2001
October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
[two meetings]
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 16, 2002
October 22, 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
Box
1998/194-5 February 5, 2003
February 19, 2003
March 26, 2003
April 16, 2003
May 21, 2003
June 18, 2003
July 16, 2003
August 20, 2003
September 17, 2003
September 18, 2003
October 15, 2003
November 19, 2003
December 17, 2003
January 21, 2004
February 4, 2004
February 18, 2004
February 19, 2004
February 24, 2004
[joint board workshop]
February 24, 2004
March 22, 2004
April 21, 2004
May 19, 2004
June 8, 2004
June 16, 2004
August 18, 2004
August 30, 2004
September 8, 2004
September 15, 2004
October 6, 2004
October 20, 2004
November 17, 2004
[two meetings]
December 15, 2004
[two meetings]
January 19, 2005
Box
1998/194-6 February 16, 2005
March 16, 2005
April 20, 2005
May 18, 2005
June 1, 2005
June 20, 2005
June 29, 2005
August 8, 2005
August 17, 2005
August 31, 2005
September 21, 2005
October 19, 2005
November 2, 2005
November 16, 2005
December 12, 2005
December 21, 2005
January 18, 2006
February 15, 2006
March 22, 2006
April 19, 2006
May 11, 2006
May 17, 2006
June 1, 2006
June 21, 2006
June 22, 2006
August 16, 2006
August 30, 2006
September 20, 2006
October 18, 2006
November 15, 2006
Box
1998/194-7 December 5, 2006
December 11, 2006
December 20, 2006
January 24, 2007
February 21, 2007
[regular and special meetings]
March 21, 2007
April 11, 2007



 

Reports, 1963-1964, 1972-1975,
0.2 cubic ft.

The San Antonio River Authority is charged by the state of Texas to preserve, protect and manage the resources and environment of the San Antonio River and its tributaries. Reports include a 1963 brief to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advocating completion of a navigation study of the San Antonio River, a 1964 report on public water organizations in Bexar County and its surrounding area, and annual financial reports for the years 1972 through 1975.
Arrangement
These records are arranged in chronological order by State Archives staff.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Reports, San Antonio River Authority records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession Information
Accession number: 2005/171
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Legislative Reference Library on August 9, 2005.
Processing Information
Rebecca Romanchuk, August 2006
Box
2005 Accession Box (2005/171) "A Brief to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Support of the Continuation and Completion of a Navigation Study of the San Antonio River, Texas," May 10, 1963
"Public Water Organizations in Bexar County and Surrounding South Texas Area," August 25, 1964
Annual financial reports, 1972-1975