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FROM STAFF REPORTS

MARBLE FALLS — Growing demand and aging infrastructure are two main reasons Marble Falls city leaders are eyeing rate increases for water and wastewater.

City manager Mike Hodge said the rate adjustment needs to generate an estimated 12 percent revenue increase to cover almost $8 million of bonds to make the infrastructure improvements.

“There are a number of projects ongoing,” Hodge said.

The bond proceeds will be used to replace 1,500 feet of water distribution lines and install fire hydrants on a stretch of RR 1431 ($340,000); replace a water distribution line on Broadway from Avenue G to Avenue D due to a corrosive line and to improve service quality ($140,000); expand the water plant to meet state regulations and accommodate growth ($3.95 million); expand wastewater services to meet state regulations ($2.5 million); replace one water storage tank and rehabilitate another ($900,000); and purchase a back hoe ($100,000).

Hodge said the water line the city will replace on RR 1431 is only a 10-inch line, but it is also decades old and has a recent history of breaking.

“This past Saturday is the fifth time that line has broken in the two years since I’ve been here,” Hodge said. He added that every time that particular line breaks, the elevated tank it operates in conjunction with loses pressure. “There’s about half a million gallons of water that spill out on the ground, and this (improvement) would help alleviate that.”

Hodge said the upgrades and improvements are part of the city’s initiative to replace aging infrastructure and keep up with growth. Some of the water and wastewater plant expansion isn’t just about planning for growth but also taking care of the current needs.

With the bond offering, the city council on Sept. 6 will consider a utility rate increase for the upcoming fiscal year. Hodge pointed out that the last water rate increase was 2013 and the last sewer rate increase was 2010.

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out, (an) equitable way of spreading (the increase) out,” Hodge said.

The city staff is working on new rates.

The city manager pointed out that the city has separated the utility fund from the general operating fund, so any revenue the water and wastewater systems generate go into utility fund and not the general fund.

editor@thepicayune.com

2 thoughts on “Growth, aging lines could lead to water, wastewater rate increases

  1. Hmm. They can float an 8mil bond for aging infrastructure but they have yet to get water or waste water lines into the the lake marble falls subdivision which was involuntarily annexed in 2008. You know that pesky little headache the city just had to have.

  2. It is getting very expensive to live in Marble Falls and pretty soon we are going to be priced right out of it. I understand the need to pay for infrastructure but with all the new building and growth there will probably be enough to pay without making long time residents pay more.

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