By CHRISTIN COYNE
WILLOW PARK – The Willow Park City Council Tuesday night advised staff to begin working towards issuing certificates of obligation bonds to finance $685,000 in water line upgrades.
The improvements primarily include upgrades to main water lines made of cast iron running along portions of Ranch House Road, as well as water lines running off to nearby residential streets. After the city applied for funding help from the Texas Water Development Board in 2012, the TWDB offered to extend $685,000 in assistance.
“The funding from the Texas Water Development Board ... is their promise to buy the bonds if we choose to issue them,” council member Gene Martin explained to the few residents who attended the public hearing.
The city will see a reduced interest rate by working with the TWDB.
The cast-iron lines slated for replacement were responsible for 12 main water line breaks over the past 12 months, half of all the water line breaks in the city, officials said. One occurred on Ranch House Road on Christmas Day, according to Mayor Richard Neverdousky.
“I think that is indicative of what you’ll see going back, probably years,” said Derek Turner, an engineer with Jacob & Martin.
City staff prioritized replacing lines based on the frequency of breaks, water loss and location. The city’s engineer further evaluated them for impact on the water system, according to Turner.
The available $685,000 loan from the TWDB is sufficient to cover the first six of nine line replacement priorities, the city’s remaining cast-iron lines. Replacing all nine lines is estimated to cost a total of $920,000.
The first priority is a 6-inch line running from Crown Road to Squaw Creek parallel to a new 12-inch line. The city plans to abandon the line in place and tie in main lines and service lines to the newer line.