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March 28, 2013

Willow Park’s water and sewer plan for future development moves forward

By CHRISTIN COYNE

WILLOW PARK – Willow Park came one step closer Tuesday night to adopting a plan that sets goals for city infrastructure improvements and lays out a framework for developers to pay for those projects.

A capital improvements plan that looks at Willow Park’s water and sewer system needs through 2040 was expected to go to the council Wednesday night for adoption after approval Tuesday night by the plan review committee.

The plan review committee, consisting of the city’s planning and zoning commission, as well as a resident of the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, held a public hearing on the plan. However, no member of the public spoke. 

City officials have been working on the plan in recent months, citing a need to adopt a plan as soon as possible to ensure the city’s infrastructure needs are met as the city grows.

The city does not have a current capital improvements plan, something that council members say has been a challenge for the city when negotiating with developers looking to connect to the city’s water and sewer systems. 

The plan was designed by an engineer in compliance with state law and looked at what long-range water and wastewater system capital improvements are needed as the city reaches maximum build-out, according to City Administrator Matt Shaffstall.

The plan predicts how the city will grow using some of the land use assumptions, Shaffstall said, adding that the city is expected to max out between 10,000 and 12,000 residents. The city’s population is currently estimated at more than 4,300.

“In order to be able to service a system of 10,000 or 12,000, it makes a series of recommendations of what we will need,” Shaffstall said. “On the water side, one of the first things the city’s going to have to do in the near-term future is address a surface water solution.”

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