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Customer Update 8-21-2023

8/25/2023

Customer Update

 Thanks to all who attended our regular meeting of the Westwood Shores MUD Board on August 21, 2023.  For those who were not able to attend, here are a few updates:

 

Water Plants:

  • Water Plant #1 (WP1):
    • Located near the MUD office, contains Wells #1 and #2, along with an aeration (filtration) system to reduce the Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) content of the water (which causes a sulfur smell). Well water feeds into a 500,000-gallon ground water storage tank (GST).  Wells #1 and #2 are complete and approved for use, however, we are awaiting final approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to bring the filtration system on-line permanently.  Until that permission is received, we have only been able to use those wells on an emergency basis (when supplies from Water Plant #2 are not sufficient).
    • Once we receive approval, hopefully by the third week in September, we expect to use water from either Well 1 or Well 2 as our primary source for Westwood Shores.
    • In addition, we are also waiting replacement of sand and materials in two of our four aeration filters. Once all four filters are operational, we will be able to supply water from both wells at the same time.
  • Water Plant #2 (WP2):
    • Located near the POA maintenance barn, this plant has a water storage tank supplied with treated surface water delivered under our contract with Trinity Rural Water Supply Corporation (TRW).
    • TRW has been our primary source of water since early 2021 and will be reverted to our back-up supply once Water Plant #1 is fully approved.

 

Operations Update:

  • Because regular, unrestricted demand for water would often exceed what TRW is able to consistently supply us, we have been operating under Drought Conditions Phase II since July 2022. They remain in place and we appreciate your continued cooperation and patience with the restrictions outlined on our website.
  • Once TCEQ approves automated use of Water Plant #1, we hope to lift these restrictions.
  • Two-thirds of district fire hydrants were re-painted last month and work on the remainder will begin soon.

 

MUD District Taxes

  • The MUD Board will be voting on the 2023 MUD tax rates for debt service and maintenance and operations at the next regular MUD meeting on September 18, 2023 at 9:30am. There will be an opportunity for public comment at that meeting, prior to the Board vote.

 

Bond Election:

  • The district is preparing to request voter support for a bond election to take place during the November election cycle. Further details about the election and funding will be discussed at upcoming Board meetings.
  • In addition, we expect to have a public forum prior to 2023 Early Voting and Election Day to help inform voters of our expected use of bond funds.

 

Budget Update:

  • On an unaudited basis, at the end of our 2022-2023 Fiscal Year, on June 30, revenues exceeded expenses by approximately $355,000. This is a significant improvement over the original budget approved in mid-2022, which anticipated a $445,000 loss.
  • We were able to build the above surplus primarily through the rate order increases which took effect in October 2022 and February 2023. We appreciate your understanding as we work to bring our district back onto stronger financial footing.  We plan to maintain the excess funds from last year’s budget as a reserve in the event of unplanned emergency repairs.
  • Beginning July 1, we started our new budget year. Once again, because of anticipated revenues from water and sewer rates, we have been able to include $340,000 of spending towards much needed work on lift stations, sewer plant repairs and closed caption camera scoping of sewer lines to search for incursions (compromised spots in the lines).
  • Without the increased revenue from our monthly rates, we would slide further behind in maintaining our district.

 

Contract Operator:

  • Last month, our current operator, Inframark, provided us a draft amendment to their initial contract which commenced in August 2021. In conjunction with this amendment, the Board authorized a Request for Proposal (RFP) from other potential operators.
  • The Board will hold a special meeting on September 6 at 9:30am to consider the contract amendment from Inframark and a proposal from Precision Utility LLC.

 

Below are links to several portions of the Westwood Shores MUD website which may be of interest:

 

Prior Meeting Minutes:

https://westwoodshoresmud.com/board-meeting-minutes

 

Drought Policy:

https://westwoodshoresmud.com/water-conservation-and-drought-contingency-plan