Pflugerville City Council, after some debate, approved Feb. 13 a $2.1 million contract with SKE Construction LLC for water line improvements and rehabilitation in Pflugerville Estates.

The gist

The water lines within the Pflugerville Estates community—roughly 200 homes—were installed in the 1980s with nonstandard pipe material and size, Public Utility Director Brandon Pritchett told City Council during a presentation. In addition, the neighborhood does not currently meet the national standards for fire hydrant requirements.

Though Pflugerville Estates is outside city limits, the neighborhood is a part of the city’s water service area.

Due to the large cost associated with the project for a small number of out-of-city homes, some council members voiced concerns that the city should reevaluate water rates for these types of consumers and projects.

“I think the direct benefit per connection is greater than the base rate that we charge per connection. It is being subsidized by the rest of our ratepayers,” Place 1 council member Doug Weiss said.

However, the most recent rate study, conducted in 2023, accounted for the Pflugerville Estates rehabilitation project within the existing rates being paid by water consumers, Pritchett said.

The two-meeting discussion highlighted the challenge faced by council members in balancing the needs of city residents with those of all members within the city's service area.

Ultimately, council members voted to approve the project.

“As far as I'm concerned, this is about safety—period,” Place 3 council member Kimberly Holiday said. “They need fire hydrants. ... We've got to take care of it.”