A small town in western Travis County is becoming the latest victim of the lasting drought as the Jonestown police chief position will be unfunded as of Oct. 1. Locals have mixed emotions as to what this will mean for their community.
On Wednesday, things seemed pretty normal in downtown Jonestown, but a drive a quarter mile down Park Drive shows a different scene at Jones Brother's Park as the drought has taken away the town's waterfront and now budget cuts have taken away the city's police chief.
"I'm actually pretty devastated about it," said Joey Leal, Jonestown resident, "that someone in such a high position is no longer going to be part of Jonestown."
Due to a dwindling budget, the city will not only have cut the police chief's position but they'll also lose the head librarian starting Oct. 1.
Cities all over the country have had to make budget concessions, but this little town has had other variables to deal with.
When Lake Travis is down as low as it has been for so many months in a row, boat launch fees disappear like the water. The city has also had a decline in building permit fees.
Currently, Lake Travis is at about 637 feet. It would take about another 20 feet to bring water splashing at the shores again and bring folks back to the park. Locals say lake levels will always come and go, but they've never dealt with losing the police chief due to cuts.
Virginia Leal has lived in Jonestown for 10 years. She said she's worried about having one less cop patrolling the town.
"If you don't have a cop that would supervise these people around here," said Leal, "I wonder what's going to happen."
But not everyone is worried. At Parrain's Louisian Kitchen, folks take the news in stride.
"It's not been a concern of mine who is in charge of the police here," said Mikel Arclight. "The police do a good enough job without having to be instructed by some guy on the top."
Whether they have a police chief or not may not make a difference for now since residents claim the town of 1,900 has a low crime rate.
As one local put it: they can live without the chief, but they can't live without their Lake.
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