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Brushy Creek board to hear from public tonight

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 by Mark Richardson

The board of the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority (BCRUA) is re-evaluating several aspects of its planned regional water treatment plant in the North Lake Travis area following feedback from area stakeholders. BCRUA engineers are now studying seven possible sites for the water intake, which was originally planned in the Volente area.

 

BCRUA Board members meet at 7pm tonight at Round Rock City Hall, 203 East Main St. The BCRUA is made up from the cities of Round Rock, Leander and Cedar Park, and the three mayors of those cities serve as its Board of Directors.

 

The agency is moving forward on its plans for the regional water treatment plant after receiving approval from the Texas Water Development Board on Jan. 28 for a $310 million loan for the first two phases of design and construction. The plant is designed to serve almost 200,000 customers through 2050.

 

At tonight’s meeting, the board plans to hold a public hearing on the use of construction easements in Travis County’s Sandy Creek Park and Cedar Park’s Northwest Park. The board will also hear an update on the Deep Water Intake Study and Evaluation Criteria.

 

After an initial focus on a site near the Village of Volente for an intake, the agency has identified seven sites along the Sandy Creek Arm of Lake Travis as possible intake sites, ranging from the Cypress Creek Arm on the south with several points running north to across the Sandy Creek Arm near Jonestown.

 

The various locations are being studied for suitability with four different types of intake structures. Each location is also being evaluated for its distance from the planned treatment plant site in Cedar Park.

 

“The overall goal of the study – to determine the most suitable intake type and location – will be evaluated through four primary sub-goals: least cost; least project risk; least community impact; and least environmental impact,” according to a report submitted to the board. “The last two sub-goals, lowest community impact and least environmental impact, are goals that affect external

stakeholders. For the external goals, the BCRUA will seek input from the public on how these goals are measured to make sure that all public concerns are considered in the “decision analysis” process. Public input will be gathered through public meetings and a written survey.”

 

Board members will also be discussing a letter sent on Jan. 28 by State Sen. Kirk Watson, State Rep. Donna Howard and Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty. The letter outlined a meeting the three had with officials of the Village of Volente in which local officials complained that they had requested several items of information from the BCRUA, but had received no answer.

 

Volente Council Member Justine Blackmore-Hlista said they had asked for an update on the possibility of sharing a deep water intake with the City of Austin, a study of the potential benefits locating a an intake and pumping station might have for Volente, and a study on the potential impact construction would have on Volente in terms of blocked streets, loss of lake access and other factors.

 

Board members plan to draft an answer to the letter at tonight’s meeting. There is also an item on the agenda to set a date for a joint meeting with the Volente Council.

 

Members of the group Don’t Empty Lake Travis Association plan to attend tonight’s BCRUA meeting to monitor the Board’s actions. Information and background on the board’s meeting is available at  http://www.bcrua.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/021908-bcrua-packet.pdf.

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