Recommended flooding mitigation projects to be part of Cedar Park budget discussions

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The city of Cedar Park estimates it will take 16-20 years to implement the projects outlined in its Stormwater Master Plan.

Approved in March, the Stormwater Master Plan ranked 18 project areas in Cedar Park with known flooding issues. Areas along Block House Creek, old neighborhoods built in the 1960s-70s, and Cluck Creek topped the list.

Now the city is in the process of determining which project areas should receive funding first. The main factors in determining the timeline are the results of the project rankings—which were based off factors such as public safety—and the city’s ability to fund the projects, according to city documents.

Funding for the projects will come from re-allocated sales tax funds, which voters approved be used to create a stormwater drainage program in May 2018.

The city’s finance department conducted a financial analysis, using a computer model to determine when and how much bond debt the city can issue to fund the projects. The analysis showed that the city can issue between $8 million-$9 million every four years for at least 12 years to pay for the drainage projects, according to city documents.

Taking into account the fact that design and construction takes about 4-5 years per phase of projects, the city estimates it will take about 16-20 years to complete the projects in the master plan, according to city documents.

The city is recommending that the first phase of funding go toward two neighborhood areas: Ranchettes 2 and 3 Central and Riviera East. The ranchette-style neighborhoods were built in the 1960s-70s without adequate infrastructure to handle stormwater runoff, according to city documents.

The city is also recommending that the lower portion of Cluck Creek receive funding in this first phase.

Assistant City Manager Sam Roberts said during a presentation to Cedar Park City Council July 25 that the projects will be invasive.

“There’s going to be a lot of inconvenience in the neighborhoods as building goes,” Roberts said. “But we plan on having a lot of public outreach in the neighborhoods before and during the process, keeping everybody informed and trying to address their concerns.”

Although the No. 1-ranked project is Block House Creek, it was not included in this first phase of funding because the drainage project along that creek has been submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for grant funding, according to city documents. If funding is granted, the city cannot use other funds for the project until the grant funding has been used.

The recommended projects will be included in the budget process for the next fiscal year, Roberts said. The creation and approval of the fiscal year 2019-20 budget will occur throughout August and September.

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Marisa Charpentier
Marisa Charpentier joined Community Impact in September 2018. After working as an intern, she became a reporter for the Cedar Park | Leander edition in October 2018. Charpentier graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and Plan II Honors.
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