West Lake Hills weighs drainage projects

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Luz Moreno-Lozano lm­lozano@ac­n­news­pa­pers.com

As the city of West Lake Hills pre­pares its bud­get for next fis­cal year, fund­ing drainage im­prove­ments around town is among many ex­penses be­ing con­sid­ered.

A drainage study con­ducted by K. Friese and As­so­ci­ates, the en­gi­neer­ing firm hired to over­see the drainage project, iden­ti­fied 57 ar­eas of in­ter­est in the city.

With pub­lic in­put, staff re­ports and on-site ob­ser­va­tions, the firm de­vised a weight-rank­ing sys­tem based on risks to pub­lic safety, dam­age to in­fra­struc­ture and re­cur­ring main­te­nance. That for­mula was used to de­velop a list iden­ti­fy­ing the top 15 po­ten­tial cap­i­tal im­prove­ment projects.

As a way to im­ple­ment the plan, the city de­cided it would fund projects less than $150,000 in an­nual bud­gets for drainage im­prove­ments. Projects over $150,000 will be con­sid­ered as part of a fu­ture bond pack­age.

The city’s cur­rent bud­get lays out $200,000 for drainage im­prove­ments.

Im­prove­ments at Reveille Road and Rocky River Road was listed in the city’s drainage mas­ter plan top 15, and the project was selected by coun­cil mem­bers for in­clu­sion in this year’s bud­get.

Af­ter a bid re­view process, the City Coun­cil awarded a nearly $209,000 con­tract for the project to Austin Con­struc­tors LLC on June 27. The work con­sists of in­stalling ap­prox­i­mately 640 lin­ear feet of storm sewer and grad­ing at Reveille Pond, in­clud­ing any as­so­ci­ated work.

The project costs ap­prox­i­mately $36,000 more than the city an­tic­i­pated, but Mayor Linda Anthony said that is driven by changes she feels makes it a bet­ter project.

“The bud­get it­self changed be­cause we de­cided we wanted to put the pipe un­der­ground rather than do drainage ditches, and we had a cou­ple of other items added to the cost,” Anthony said. “I think do­ing it this way is go­ing to be much more ef­fi­cient and much less dis­rup­tive to the neigh­bor­hood.”

Next year, Anthony is propos­ing bud­get­ing an­other $200,000 for drainage im­prove­ments.

Po­ten­tial projects for con­sid­er­a­tion con­sist of im­prove­ments at Ter­race Moun­tain Drive and Basin Ledge, es­ti­mated to cost $140,000, or im­prove­ments on Cedar Oak Drive, es­ti­mated to cost $95,000.

Both projects also were top-15 choices for the drainage mas­ter plan.

The coun­cil is ex­pected to ap­prove a bud­get with fund­ing for drainage im­prove­ments in Au­gust.

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