Granite Shoals considers $7M bond for water system improvements

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Granite Shoals eyes bond for water system improvements

Granite Shoals is considering replacing its current water tower with a new one to keep up with demands and meet state requirements. City Council is looking at a $7 million bond to put before voters in November that would pay for the new tower, address water line issues, and make improvements to the water plant. The council will vote August 13 on whether to call for the bond election. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Granite Shoals City Council is eyeing a possible $7 million bond for water system improvements to put before voters in November.

City Manager Jeff Looney said some of the water lines in the city have been in use for almost five decades.

The proposed bond would address surface and ground water system projects.

The money would be split into four parts:

• $2 million for water plant improvements

• $2 million for water tower improvements

• a project manager to be paid from the bond

• replacing and improving water lines

During the council’s regular meeting June 23, members examined how to word the bond proposal as well as appointed resident and former city councilor Mark Morren to serve as chairman of the Water Bond Election Education Committee.

“(The council) felt (Morren) could do a good job of selling the product,” Looney said.

The council is expected to vote on whether to call for a bond election during its next regular meeting August 13.

Looney noted this is the first time these kinds of improvement projects have been put together and proposed to the council. The funds would allow the city to improve older water lines and add new ones where needed.

As for the improvements to the tower and plant, Looney said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires cities “have a certain amount of capacity” on hand. The improvements would help the city keep up with demand and meet state requirements.

The city would tear down the current water tower and build a new one with more capacity at the same location,

Also during the meeting, Looney again talked about creating new boat launch fees for residents and non-residents. The council is expected to be asked to approve the new fees at a later meeting, and Looney said there will be a 30-day grace period to give residents time to adjust.

“We’re getting up to the 21st century on fees,” Looney said.

Right now, boaters pay a $10 daily use fee.

The proposed fee system would include a new $20 residential annual boat launch pass for Granite Shoals residents or property owners. The residential pass isn’t prorated and is effective the remaining days of the calendar year. Residents with two or more boats pay an additional $10 residential annual launch pass per vessel.

Non-residents will have the option of purchasing a $200 annual launch pass.    If the boat owner loses this pass, they must pay an additional $200 for a renewal.

The proposal would keep the $10 day-use pass for those who don’t want to purchase an annual pass.

Hand-launched canoes, paddleboats, and kayaks are exempt from the launch fee.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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