Rollingwood inks deal for $1 million in area water improvement projects

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Council eyes April or May for completion of road construction

Rollingwood City Council voted to allow the mayor to sign a contract with Prota Inc. to begin the 2012 Water Improvement Project totaling an estimated $1,052,000. The cost of the project itself is estimated at $906,000 with the difference consisting of engineering fees and construction management.

The council is working on the 2012 Water Improvement Project in part to ensure all water infrastructure in the city is capable of producing at least 1,500 gallons per minute to improve fire flow.

Selecting a plan

The council selected from a number of proposals, opting to go with the plan that had continuing line replacement along Timberline Drive.

“The difference in the cost of the plans was something like $150,000,” Mayor Pro Tem John Hinton said. “It seems like a pretty good deal.”

Alderwoman Susan Jenkins voiced concern that the total cost of the project was higher than originally thought.

“It is and it isn’t,” Rollingwood City Engineer Susan Smith said of the cost change. “Our process is actually very accurate.”

Smith said that since the project was first proposed, some square footage of piping and more segments of roads were added, and those costs were factored in the final estimates.

Council will split the cost of the water improvement project between the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years, Rollingwood Mayor Barry Bone said.

“I checked the budget, and we have $900,000 budgeted for this project this year and another $300,000 for a water project that is called ‘New,'” Bone said. “Some of the money for this project was spent last fiscal year. Based on the contract we [awarded], we are going to need about $960,000 this fiscal year.”

Bone recommended that the $60,000 difference be taken out of the money budgeted for “Water Project New.”

Planned line work

A number of roads will undergo construction in order for crews to gain access and repair and replace water lines to improve fire flow. The largest stretch is Timberline Drive from South Peak Road to Riley Road. The intersection of Inwood Road and Rollingwood Drive will also undergo construction.

Pickwick Lane between Riley Road and Vale Street along with Hatley Drive between Riley Road and Vale Street will also see water line improvements.

Rollingwood Drive from Edgegrove Drive to Gentry Drive is scheduled for work along with Ewing Drive between Rollingwood Drive and Timberline Drive as well as all of South Peak Road.

All of Almarion Way is also planned for water line work.

Detours and road closures could accompany the construction, but no specific sections have been marked for full or partial closure, City Secretary Robyn Ryan said.

“[Road closures and detours] will be discussed during pre-construction meetings, but I can’t say which roads that will be yet,” she said. “I would imagine some of the bigger sections will at least have detours.”

Council expects that the 2012 Water Improvement Project will not take long to complete, and that substantial completion by April 30 with a final completion date of May 30.

Sprinkler code requirements

The city is looking to improve water flow which will help residents meet fire flow requirements for houses greater than a certain square footage, Smith said.

“Our service lines that are smaller are not going to be able to support that fire flow,” Smith told council members. “We need to take a good look at the requirements and make sure that all new lines will be able to support that flow.”

Bone told council members that the current fire code for the city is from 2000 and that he will ask them to update the code to the 2012 standards at the next council meeting.

Rollingwood, which operates its own municipal water utility system, was one of the few cities in Texas that succeeded in adopting a residential fire sprinkler ordinance before the Texas Legislature prohibited such ordinances in 2009. The city requires residential sprinklers in all new homes and homes being renovated by more than 50 percent, which adds an additional level of fire suppression for homes.

Drainage

In addition to repairing and replacing water lines throughout the city to improve fire flow to 1,500 gallons per minute, the city is also looking to perform a drainage study.

Storm water expert Jeremy George met with Smith to discuss observations he made and generalized goals because of the city’s nonspecific drainage goals.

“I think there are definitely some improvements that can be worked into the capital improvement plan, and I think we should do that,” Smith said.

Council is expecting the drainage report in March and will make decisions based on the findings.

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