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Granite Shoals mayor decides against re-election effort; focusing on wastewater plant

GRANITE SHOALS — For more than five years, lawyer Frank Reilly has helped guide the city as mayor, but now he’s sitting out the May 14 election to focus on bringing a wastewater plant to town.

Reilly announced this week in a prepared statement he would not seek a sixth term.

"Between now and May 14, 2010, I will similarly focus on getting the correct information to voters about the benefits and necessity of the city’s sewer system," he said.

Granite Shoals uses individual septic systems, and Reilly believes major industry and businesses won’t come to the city unless a centralized sewer system is in place.

The City Council was close to approving funding for the system, but in November residents garnered enough signatures on a petition to put a bond issue on the May ballot.

At the time, Reilly said waiting for voter approval would delay the construction of the facility by almost a year.

In September 2010, the Texas Water Development Board sent word to the city that Granite Shoals had qualified for a low-interest $14.7 million loan for phase one of the facility.

The initial phase called for construction of the sewage collection and wastewater facility as well as lines to approximately 500 residents and businesses.

Along with the TWDB loan, the city would also use a $250,000 grant and a later loan of $1.5 million for completion of phase one.

City officials said phase one would be the most expensive of the three phases to complete the system and residential/business connections.

Under the plan, residents would pay an estimated monthly $35 fee for service. Current residents wouldn’t face a hook-up fee, either.

Reilly said the project is crucial to attracting new development to the community.

"This decision by the voters is the most important since 2005 (when they approved the city charter form of government) and perhaps even more important to our city’s future," Reilly said. "While it has been an honor and pleasure to provide leadership to Granite Shoals, it is now up to the voters to decide whether that vision continues for this city, or whether the city, as it has done far to often in the past, kicks the can down the road."

Reilly said he believes residents will do what is right.

"I have faith that the voters, if properly informed as they were in 2005, will make the right choices for Granite Shoals’ future," he said. "Granite Shoals is poised to make so much more progress if voters approve the bonds, as not only is quality of Lake LBJ at stake, but also true economic development that will spread the city’s tax burden across the city to new businesses, new homes and new sales tax revenues."

During Reilly’s tenure, he oversaw the the purchase of 131 acres eyed for infrastructure development, renovations for a new City Hall and an annexation effort that added hundreds of residents.