Geist Conservancy District Steering Committee Urges Residents to Sign Petition to Save Geist
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Last year, concerned residents along Geist began their campaign to form the Geist Conservancy District. The hope for the group is to sustain the long-term health of the 75-year old reservoir.
Today, the group has continued to gain support and has officially formed its steering committee under the umbrella of the Geist Lake Coalition. The committee is an all-star cast of about 15 Geist residents and the group continues to grow.
Their goal, according to the Steering Committee Chair Cory Peter, is to continue informing residents about the need for the Geist Conservancy District.
“Every one of us resides in the district,” Peter says. “All of us are working together — some work on the website, some are working on educational pieces to push out to residents. We are really trying to reach everyone that we can. There is misinformation everywhere about who is responsible for the reservoir. The largest piece is trying to convey our message that nobody is really responsible for fixing the reservoir or maintaining it right now, and if we don’t change that then we are definitely on the wrong side of the curve.”
To form the conservancy district, at least 15% of residents living within that district must sign a petition showing their support. The proposed Geist Conservancy District is made up of roughly 4,000 homes.
To date, the group has already received the signatures of about 30% of Geist residents in favor of the petition — over 1,200 homes total. Still, the aim is to inform and gain the support of as many Geist residents as possible prior to filing.
“Since we have more than double the required signatures at this point, we’re now just wanting to get those that maybe haven’t had a chance to sign yet an opportunity to be part of history,” said Tom Britt, another Steering Committee member. “We are planning some petition drives at local businesses to give people an opportunity to come out and ask their questions and hopefully sign the petition.”
In addition to the Steering Committee, over 100 residents have volunteered to be block captains who have been going door to door urging their neighbors to show their support by signing the petition.
“We started collecting signatures about a year ago,” Peter says. “It is not a fast process. It takes volunteers walking door to door and telling people about this. People have questions, so there are times we may spend 30 minutes or more talking with residents about the reservoir and the conservancy district. Our block captains live in each neighborhood of the proposed district. These are people that live here and feel passionate enough to want to go out and talk to their neighbors. They have put a lot of time into this.”
Peter says there is no hard date for when the group will file the official request to form the conservancy district, but there is no doubt that it will happen by the end of 2019. Even still, he says, there is plenty of time for residents who haven’t signed the petition to show their support.
Those looking for more information on the Geist Conservancy District can visit GeistConservancy.com. Residents who seek to become a block captain, donate or sign the petition can click the “How to Help” tab at the top of the webpage.
“Other efforts to maintain the reservoir have been merely cosmetic because there is not a funding mechanism in place to turn back the clock on our aging reservoir,” Peter says. “The Geist Conservancy District is the end solution to this problem. We are working pretty hard to make sure we do things right and have support. So far, we’ve been overwhelmed with support and the number of signatures. As those continue to come in, we also get requests asking how to help, which is great. We encourage everyone, if you have questions to feel free to reach out to us.”