San Angelo's Future Growth Depends on Voters Approving Two Ballot Initiatives in November
SAN ANGELO, TX – Early voting for the Nov. 5 Constitutional Amendment election begins Monday, Oct. 21 and San Angelo voters will also decide issues critical to the city's future water supply and infrastructure. First, there is a special election about using the Lake Nasworthy Trust Fund balance for the replacement of sewer infrastructure around the lake and recreational improvements and second is a constitutional amendment issuing bonds for the Texas Water Development Board.
Land development on the southwest side of the city, beyond Veterans Memorial Bridge on Knickerbocker Road, is stifled because there isn't enough sewage capacity to allow new developments or much more commercial development at San Angelo Regional Airport at Mathis Field. The current sewage system 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, city planners contend. Then, there is the single-point-of-failure for all sewage on the airport side of Nasworthy — a single pipeline that travels underneath Lake Nasworthy put there years ago.
The Lake Nasworthy Trust Fund has about $15 million that can be used as a large downpayment for the estimated $30 million sewage system upgrade for the area. It will replace the hodgepodge of lift stations and add redundancy — and upgrade — the pipeline under the lake. The Trust Fund consists of money collected over the years by the City when it sold longterm lease holders their patch of land underneath Nasworthy lake homes. The fund continues to grow. The City still owns 170 tracts around Lake Nasworthy it can sell. The average cost per lot is $97,000. But in order to spend the Trust Fund, voters must approve it.
The actual ballot language for the San Angelo proposition is: "Shall the City of San Angelo's Lake Nasworthy Trust Fund principal balance be used as described below? Lake Nasworthy lake and river improvements and the elimination of related litter and pollution not to exceed $6 million in actual costs for: Boat ramps, fishing piers, shoreline erosion control, sandy beaches. Balance of the fund as of May 5, 2020, excluding the $6 million allocated for above projects, be used for the expansion, reconfiguration, and replacement of the current sewer system servicing the Lake Nasworthy area to expand capacity for current and future development."
The State's Proposition 2 will make money available to the fund from where the City of San Angelo can compete to obtain low interest loans to build large water supply infrastructure projects.
Prop 2 is the constitutional amendment Texas voters will decide. It states, "The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas."
The city can apply for low interest loans from the Texas Water Development Board for the Concho River Water Project which would flow treated wastewater into the Concho River from the treatment plant east of San Angelo and then recapture that water seven miles down the river near Mullins Crossing at Veribest and pump it back to the water treatment plant in San Angelo. The Concho River Water Project is estimated to cost $120 million.
Early voting for the November 5th election begins Monday, October 21st and continues until Friday, November 1st. Hours are: Oct. 21 – 25, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Oct. 28 – 30; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Oct. 31 – Nov. 1, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be no voting on the weekend.
Applications for ballots by mail must be received by Oct. 25. The application must be in the office and cannot be hand-delivered during early voting. Blank applications are available at www.votetomgreencounty.org, under the Forms link, or by requesting a blank form be mailed to the voter. Voters should plan enough time to have the blank form mailed to them and returned to the office by the 25th.
Two polling places have been relocated – Segunda Iglesia Bautista Church was moved to Southside Recreation Center, 2750 Ben Ficklin Rd., Multi-purpose Room and Southland Baptist Church was moved to Plaza del Sol II Apartments, 4359 Oak Grove Blvd., Multi-purpose Room. A total of 19 locations will be open on Election Day and those locations, as well as Sample Ballots, may be found atwww.votetomgreencounty.org.
There are 10 Constitutional Amendments for all county voters, 1 proposition for residents of the City of San Angelo, and a bond for voters in the Water Valley Independent School District.
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