STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
With three major road projects behind it, the city of Granite Shoals now turns its attention to water issues, particular lines and a tower.
During the City Council meeting May 28, city engineer Craig Bell outlined water-related options, such as adding new water lines thorough Granite Shoals at an estimated cost of more than $9 million and a new water tower at a projected cost of more than $2 million.
Bell, who gave the presentation at the request of Mayor Carl Brugger, is now prioritizing the needs of the city from the most important to the least.
If the City Council pushes forward with either, both, or something in between, possible funding includes bonds.
City Manager Jeff Looney said city staff can assemble a bond package of $7 million that would not raise the interest and sinking portion of the property tax levy. He added that the city has a strong bond rating and is already paying off other debt. Both play into the city’s favor.
“That’s very, very encouraging for us. It shows businesses we can have the money to do infrastructure improvements,” Looney said. “The city needs to have a more robust and serviceable water system.”
The city is also looking at roads other than the three main arteries — Phillips Ranch Road, Valley View, and Prairie Creek Road — to see what repairs need to be made due to damage from the October 2108 flood. Roadways could include Driftwood and Belaire.
“It’s just street repair,” he said. “These are roads that were in disarray that something has to be done.”
The estimated cost for repairs is $200,000.
Once the council approves which roads will be repaired, staff members will release a list, Looney said.
The council also approved a contract with the Lower Colorado River Authority for 25 new buoys with anchoring hardware material to be placed in Lake LBJ at a total cost of $5,910.
After the October flood, LCRA officials, Looney, and Granite Shoals Police Chief Gary Boshears found many buoys in no-wake zones, swim areas, and keep out areas were missing or out of place.
While the city could purchase and install the buoys itself, which would require at least three police officers for the work, the LCRA offered a more cost-effective option. Along with getting better-quality buoys, the LCRA workers would install them.
“(The city) could not do it for that price,” Looney said. “The agreement with LCRA is fantastic. We’ll get a bigger bang for the bucks. It’s a win for us. It saves us money, and we get a better buoy.”
In other city business, over 30 people attended the wildlife management town hall June 1 to learn more about the program that harvests deer within the city limits. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sent two biologists and three game wardens to help answer questions and concerns from residents.
Looney noted that those who attended were “very much in favor of the program, and they liked what they saw and what this group is doing.”
Many expressed a desire to see the city reinstate the no-feed ordinance, which prohibits residents from feeding the deer. The council approved such an ordinance in July 2016, but a group of residents petitioned for the matter to go before voters in November of that year. The deer feeding ban was defeated 583-576.