SAN ANGELO, TX -- The San Angelo City Council is exploring using the Nasworthy Trust Fund to help fund an estimated $32 million sewer project that would allow for greater economic development at San Angelo Regional Airport and to make improvements around the lake.
The Council will also discuss an estimated $5 million in needs the Lake Nasworthy Homeowners Association suggests be funded. Depending upon funding, the suggested projects may include protecting shorelines from erosion; improving public sandy beaches, boat ramps and floating docks; controlling reeds and vegetation; cleaning and deepening canals; and removing or replacing a fishing pier near the Nature Center.
The Council asked the Water Utilities and Finance departments to research scenarios that would involve using varying amounts of the $15 million trust in developing a modern, comprehensive sewer system. If the Council agrees to use any of the fund, it would call an election in November to seek voter approval, in keeping with the terms of the trust.
Nasworthy’s existing wastewater system was installed piecemeal over decades without an overall plan. As a result, it relies upon an intricate system of 106 grinders and 26 lift stations to move sewage to the wastewater treatment plant. The system cannot accommodate plans to develop the airport into an industrial and business park.
“Mathis Field represents a job-creation opportunity we have yet to fully tap,” Mayor Brenda Gunter said. “We will never realize its economic potential if we continue to be hamstrung by the sewer system in that area. If San Angelo is to grow jobs at the airport, we must improve its wastewater infrastructure. Using the trust fund lessens the financial burden on the entire community to pay for this project.”
In April, the City Council backed the $32 million proposal, which would involve installing 28,400 feet of a 24-inch sewer main. The project would install new crossings across the lake and the South Concho River, and should allow removal of some lift stations. Sewage would be moved by gravity flows rather than through pumping, thus reducing maintenance and operating costs. It could also provide sewer service to the Butler Farms and Country Club areas.
A lower-cost option was also studied, but was found to limit growth around Nasworthy and would not reduce operating costs or operational complexity.
The Nasworthy Trust Fund was built – and continues to grow – through the sale of City-owned property around the lake. The City owns 170 tracts around Lake Nasworthy. The average cost per lot is $97,000.
The fund’s interest earnings will amount to more than $300,000 in the coming fiscal year. Most of those funds are used to support the work of the Lake Operations division, which maintains the public property around Nasworthy. Lake Operations’ current expense budget is $867,523.