The Middle Trinity Groundwater Conservation District is growing fast. The district annexed its second county in just six months, expanding to a total of four.

On Nov. 3, Coryell County voters approved by 64.17 percent being annexed into the district. The votes were canvassed Thursday in Erath County and Coryell residents will now pay 1.5 cents per $100 of property evaluation.

Coryell County was one of five counties in the surrounding area that was affected by Texas  legislators last October, which mandated counties join a groundwater  conservation district within two years, county judge John Firth said.

“Our choice all along has been to join Erath and Comanche (counties). In May, when Bosque chose to join Middle Trinity, it gave us the perfect opportunity to put it on our ballot in November,” Firth said.

Coryell County, with a population of 75,000, had overwhelming support from residents to join the district, according to Firth.

“Out of the 20 precincts, 17 voted in favor of joining Middle Trinity,” he said. “Out of the three precincts (against), one was one vote shy of 50 percent (in favor).”

Firth said he believes Middle Trinity is run by a professional manager, Joe Cooper, and a top-notch board of directors, an institution Coryell County is looking forward to being a part of.

“We are very happy to join Middle Trinity. We think it is a perfect fit from the Coryell County standpoint,” Firth said. “With our tax base contributing to Middle Trinity we will all benefit from better groundwater conservation in the future.”

Cooper said the addition of Coryell County will also have a two-fold affect for MTGCD.

“It means we will have a larger voice (as a district) as water policies continue to evolve in our state,” Cooper said. “It also provides much needed oversight to groundwater in that area, which up to this point has been lacking.”

After Nov. 16, Firth will appoint three directors for the county, bringing the total board to 12, MTGCD Administrative Assistant Sharon Mainord said.

Well registration for Coryell County will begin Nov. 16 and residents will have one year, until Nov. 15, 2010, to register their wells under the grandfathered period. After that time all registered wells will be considered new wells.

Mainord said Coryell County will benefit from its annexing through the preservation of water, which will be implemented by MTGCD.

“We will work to ensure all the groundwater in our district will be used and conserved properly so we can have water for the future,” she said.

MTGCD was established in May 2002 with Erath and Comanche counties, with a tax rate of 1.5 cents per $100 of evaluation. Bosque County was annexed into the district in May 2009.