PARKER COUNTY —
A better operation
Under the ownership of Annetta and the operational management of Hudson Oaks, they’ve been making significant headway in dealing with major supply and storage issues, according to Deer Creek users. They have struggled with restrictive water rationing measures and dying trees and landscaping for years because the system could not meet the need. Earlier this year, the council OK’d a $1 million bond issuance to begin tackling those problems.
Complaints, once common under the management of Willow Park, are nonexistent under Hudson Oaks’ oversight, Thompson said.
“We don’t have any pressure issues any more,” Thompson said. “Repairs get made immediately. They quickly addressed all the issues with the sewer system [near Stuard Elementary].”
Those promoting annexation in Deer Creek say they want those improvements to continue and fear council members spending the system’s money differently could affect those gains.
The council recently directed the appointed board to look at taking on operation of the system when the three-year contract (which has a possible two-year extension) with Hudson Oaks ends at the end of 2013, Thompson said.
“Hudson Oaks has done a great job, and I guarantee you it would cost three times for us to operate in-house,” Thompson said, adding that Annetta does not currently have anyone with the expertise of Hudson Oaks Assistant City Administrator Patrick Lawler or the money to hire someone with that knowledge.
Pinckard said the city currently gets a great deal of benefit in the current situation.
“If we were premature, we’d have to start all over,” said Pinckard, who added Hudson Oaks has expressed a willingness to work with Annetta, though they understand Hudson Oaks does not want to be the long-term operator, either.
The council has not made any decisions and wants to see what the cost would be if they did it on their own, according to Pinckard.
Pinckard also addressed fears that the city is seeking to hire a city administrator who might be tied to the water system using funds from Deer Creek to pay for it, an idea reportedly floated by some council members.
“There’s no way we have the money,” Pinckard said, adding that the city is dedicated to putting the Deer Creek revenue right back in for improvements and maintenance to the system, which had been neglected for years.