It’s a lot of money, but project will handle demand for half century
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this editorial stated the council would vote to approve the project Monday. The vote will be held in November.
Eighteen million dollars. It’s a lot of money for a small town, no matter what the project.
But the water bond projects, which the Fredericksburg City Council will vote to approve next month, is needed for this town’s present and its future.
The water bond will see a 1 million-gallon water storage tank at Cross Mountain. Due to operation, the current tank can no longer be taken out of service for repairs. This storage tank pumps water to the city’s North Tank, which serves 1,500 customers (homes) in the northern service area of the town, including the Carriage Hills, Stone Ridge and Boot Ranch developments.
Gravity plays a big part in water distribution because pumping is more expensive and less dependable. So elevated locations are what is needed for these tanks to serve customers.
Another 1 million-gallon tank will be built on land at Boot Ranch. Again, this serves 1,500 water hookups.
This has mistakenly been seen as a “giveaway” by the city to the residents of Boot Ranch. Yet, Boot Ranch donated the land on which the tanks sit and paid for about one third of the construction cost, forecasting their own needs. (There are 450 total lots in Boot Ranch subdivision with 100 taken at present.)
The Highway 290 East project will tap into the aquifer east of town and create a needed third line into town. It will also add a 1 million-gallon storage tank.
The two existing lines, especially from the Goehmann Lane ground storage tank are aging. One line suffered a break last summer. When that happens, the city can come close to having water levels that would not service all of its customers, to say nothing of servicing a large fire should that occur.
This third tank would create a redundancy to continue service at safe levels should we suffer another break.
One local asked us if we “just go along with anything that is proposed,” citing our support of the parks bond and now this water bond. Yes, this is a lot of money, and, no, we don’t favor frivolous government spending.
We don’t know every thought of our council members, but we know the members personally and professionally and find them all to be frugal, yet smart about this town’s needs. Some of our news and editorial writers have covered other city councils that were frugal, but not forward-looking. (Small town utility investments must be consistent and viewed as, “A stitch in time will save nine,” as Ben Franklin wrote.)
Not one council member has expressed doubt in the need for this project given this town’s growth outlook.
We elect our council members to look out for our present and future needs. It appears to us this council is doing just that. – K.E.C.