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Cottonwood Shores water and wastewater rates increasing 5 percent

Cottonwood Shores park improvements

Cottonwood Shores Parks Chairwoman Andrea Stephens showed the City Council a photo of the new playscape that will be installed in Aspen Park as Councilor Michael Hibdon looked on during the regular meeting Sept. 2. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Cottonwood Shores residents will see a 5 percent increase in their water and wastewater rates when they receive their November bills. The City Council on Sept. 2 approved the increases after adopting a 2021-22 fiscal year budget of $2,738,408 during its regular meeting. 

Councilors also approved a property tax rate of $0.5315 per $100 valuation. The 2020-21 budget was approved at $2,414,099.

“We have almost a 5 percent increase of (capital projects improvements),” Mayor Don Orr said. “In essence, it’s a break-even.”

Horseshoe Bay, which treats the wastewater for Cottonwood Shores, has announced an increase for its services to about $1,500 a month for the second half of the year.

“Everybody’s costs are going up,” Orr said. 

Chlorine, which is used in the treatment process, is also getting more expensive. What used to cost $110 a month now costs $125. Other increasing costs are labor, tests by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and “everything that goes into” treatment. 

“It’s not out of line with respect to what costs have gone up,” Orr said of the 5 percent increases. “We don’t have a choice but to pass it along. Our costs are going up significantly.”

Most residents use about 6,000 gallons a month, which costs $70.90. After the increase, the bill will be about $74.60.

City leaders normally adjust utility rates in April but this year chose to wait until the new fiscal year, Orr said.

The council also approved buying a playscape for Aspen Park and trash bins and benches for the parks system. The cost for the playscape from American Parks Co. is $20,143. Most of the money is coming from grants from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative.

Councilors also approved a $1,500 contract from GarzaMade for park signs, wanting to stay with that company because it’s local.

Parks Chairwoman Andrea Stephens said she plans to continue looking for donations and grants to help offset what the grant doesn’t cover.

The councilors tabled the wildlife ordinance until the next meeting to have a full council. Councilor Roger Wayson was absent. 

jfierro@thepicayune.com