Granite Shoals OKs new $1.7M water tower

The Granite Shoals City Council approved building a new water tower holding 350,000 gallons to replace this existing one, which holds 150,000 gallons. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Granite Shoals City Council approved building a new water tower holding 350,000 gallons to replace this existing one, which holds 150,000 gallons. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Granite Shoals City Council approved the construction of a $1.7 million water tower during its February 11 meeting.

The new tower will hold 350,000 gallons and replace the existing 150,000-gallon tower.

City staff presented councilors with options ranging from 250,000-gallon tanks to 500,000-gallon tanks.

City Manager Jeff Looney said officials had to balance cost and project future growth. In the end, all believed the 350,000-gallon tower will fit the needs of the city for decades to come.

“It plans for growth for the next twenty-five years or so,” he said. “There’s a misconception that the tower might be higher. It’ll be wider because you have to keep water pressure the same. You can do that by keeping the water elevation the same.”

The council also decided to purchase all of the water bonds at once instead of “piecemealing” them, Looney said.

“We’ll do it all at once,” he said. “It’s all rolled into the $7 million bond.”

Voters approved the bonds during the November 2019 election. The city will pay off the bonds over a 20-year period.

Looney noted the interest rates are currently around 2 percent. City officials projected paying an interest rate of 3.5 percent, he said.

“That will mean a better savings in the long run,” he said. “We’re going to do so well.”

Looney said the city will issue the bonds in late summer or early fall.

Finishing the water tower in November 2020 and upgrading the water treatment plant are the priorities, Looney said. After that, staff will focus on water lines.

“That third component will be done afterwards, doing the water line construction in town,” he said. “We have to get the bids out (on the other two components) before we know how much money we have left (in the bonds). We’re excited about our developments and all about what we can do to take care of the community.”    

The council also:

  • approved the creation of the Parks Legacy Fund, which allows donations from people for materials to improve city parks. All donations are tax-deductible, Looney said, and no purchases using the fund can be made without the council’s approval.
  • heard a report on how the Hotel Occupancy Tax will be used. Looney said that money will go toward the arts, including murals, music festivals, and children’s shows. He noted that, last year, the first Granitefest, the city’s own festival, cost $30,000, but because staff members only raised $15,000 in donations, HOT funds were used to pay the remaining balance.

The year’s Granitefest, which is March 27-28 on the grounds of City Hall, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road, is expected to offer more activities, including two days’ worth of live concerts.

Once city staff have exhausted fundraising, HOT funds will go toward paying for the 2020 event, Looney said.

That way, city leaders can keep the concerts free to attend, he said.

“This is about doing something for the community,” he said. “I think folks are tired of spending their hard-earned money to do something.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

2 thoughts on “Granite Shoals OKs new $1.7M water tower

  1. Not much choice after the EPA and Texas forced them to do it due to poor quality drinking water and distribution conditions that the city has not been dealing with, not financing upgrades appropriately for many years by taking their Water Dept. income away for other CC self & private interests wants.
    Facts are facts. Glad to see the Granite Fest taking shape as I envisioned when creating the idea years ago when I ran for Mayor, then later more detailed describing to the Chair of the Parks Committee and a couple of CC members. Sadly not yet incorporating a new Cook-off and local “Flea Market” event as also proposed. Also sadly not during normal regional event months for highest lever of participation such as summer times would encourage as most all other towns and cities do. In fact, they have a great place to hold the Adult Soapbox Derby now that Marble Falls has stopped. Those amateurs at the GS CC and Admin. still have so much to learn.

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