Westlake Picayune Article 10/10/2018

 

The 10 projects that have been completed, are underway or are about to begin as part of the Water District 10 bond program.

 

Waterline Projects Ongoing in Water District 10 Bond Program

With six projects complete and two more about to begin, Travis County Water District 10 officials said the 2015 bond program is moving right along.

In 2015, district voters approved a $45,970,000 bond to improve water flow throughout the district. The district, which was established in 1956, has outdated water piping that needed to be increased in size to create a more robust system to keep up with the district’s growth. The improvements include installing new, larger-diameter pipes throughout the district, which officials anticipate will generate a 2,000 gallon per minute fire flow for the areas where improvements occurred.

A total of 20 projects were selected as part of the bond program. Completed projects include waterlines on Westwood Terrace, Old Stone Hedge, Skyline Drive/Nob Hill Circle, Circle Ridge Drive, Red Bud Trail and Flintridge Road.

The district’s biggest current project is on Bee Cave Road. Carla Glass, the district’s general manager, said construction on Bee Cave from Buckeye Trail to Red Bud Trail is complete. Crews will continue to work on the section on Bee Cave from Buckeye Trail to Bulian Lane, which is expected to be completed in early 2019.

Two new projects are about to begin on the Buckeye Trail and Yaupon Valley Road waterlines, Glass said.

The Buckeye Trail waterline is going to be a 16-inch pipe that goes from the McConnell pump station to Bee Cave Road, which will help supply the fire flow from Bee Cave Road. Crews will replace the existing line with a new one.

“During the time of construction, which is about 180 days starting between November and December, we will have an above-ground temporary line due to the size of the road,” Glass said.

The Yaupon Valley Road waterline installation will include a new water pipe. Construction will also last about 180 days. Glass said part of the road is private. An above-ground temporary line will be utilized in this project as well.

“On the private portion of the road we will take out the existing line and put in a new one,” Glass said. “On the public potion we will be putting in an additional line that runs parallel to the existing line.”

Other projects that are undergoing design planning include three pump stations and the Eanes School Road waterline. Glass said those projects are expected to begin next year.

Improvements to the Red Bud Trail pump station and Wildcat Hollow waterline are on hold but are expected to begin in 2019.

While construction is ongoing, Glass said, the district is under a water service freeze for any new builds, additions and remodels.

“This is just to make sure if they are building a house that we have enough water flow to protect them and their neighbors,” Glass said.

The 5,000-acre district is made up of 3,000 connections servicing about 10,000 people. The district includes the city of West Lake Hills and the major subdivisions of Westwood, Rolling Hills West, Knollwood, Westlake Highlands, Sundown Parkway, Camelot and the original Rob Roy Ranch.

Among the other changes coming from the district are electronic meters, a new tax rate and new water rates.

1) The district will soon transition to an electronic meter program. Glass said the meters will have the ability to send signals that read the meter each month. It will also be able to detect leaks and water loss. The district will begin to solicit request for proposals and is expected to select a bid and company for the installation within the next few months. All 3,000 of the district’s meters will see this change.

2) The district relocated its offices to 5324 Bee Cave Road in West Lake Hills. The 3,000-square-foot office will also be the site for board meetings and pump station #3.

3) New water rates were approved in September, the first adjustment in rates since 2012. The district conducted a rate study to ensure it was charging the appropriate rates based on the district’s needs, and the new rates are a result of that. Glass said the hope is the new rates will encourage water conservation for the high-end users, who use 45,000 gallons of water or above. The average Water District 10 customer, who uses 20,000 gallons or less per month, will likely see a decrease on their water bill, Glass said. Water bills due Dec. 20 will reflect the new rate change.

4) The board approved a 9 cent per $100 of taxable value tax rate, which is about half a cent less than the previous year. Although the rate is lower, taxpayers with a home valued at about $1.09 million will likely still see a $27 increase on their annual tax bill due to rising property values.

This article was originally published on statesman.com on 10-11-2018. The article was written by Luz Moreno-Lozano.