Council eyes water project to balance demand, old lines

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Some of $19.3 million cost will be funded by new construction fees

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Three water improvement projects that are part of the 2018 utility bond project for capital improvements to the city’s water system were highlighted in Monday night’s Fredericksburg City Council meeting.

The total estimated project cost is $19.3 million and the city is seeking $18.5 million in bond revenue to fund the projects.

The council will take up consideration for the bonds in November.

Approximately $1 million for the project will be funded by water impact fees, which are charged for new residential and commercial construction projects in the city.

City Manager Kent Myers said the city is not planning to use funding from the Texas Water Development Board for the projects.

Kris Kneese, the city’s assistant director of public works and utilities, outlined the plans for three additional one-million-gallon tanks to be constructed at Cross Mountain and North Tank (Boot Ranch), as well as a water line, pump station and ground storage tank on U.S. 290 East.

“These projects will help us with redundancy in our water system, adding elevated storage in places that are critical to our system and also adding the ability to get water to our town with adding the U.S. 290 East water line project,” Kneese said.

The Cross Mountain and North Tank (Boot Ranch) projects will each require new million-gallon tanks to be constructed, as the current tanks are unable to be taken offline for repairs due to their water system operations.

The Cross Mountain and Boot Ranch tanks currently serve about 1,500 customers in the city’s north pressure zone.

A million-gallon tank, pump station and water transmission main will be constructed on U.S. 290 East to connect the Knauth Well Field to the city. An exact location of this project has not been determined by city officials, but will be decided during the preliminary design phase of the project.

“This particular line was constructed in the mid-1990s and we have a lot of main breaks,” Kneese said. “It seems our main breaks take place when it is the hottest time of the year, like we have seen over the last three months. If we have a water main break here at the wrong time of the day or the week, it could really put our water system in a critical stage.”

The U.S. 290 East project would include annexations.

Council member Tom Musselman asked Director of Public Works Clinton Bailey to explain the issue of not having these particular projects completed and issues the city intends to avoid.

 

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