Round Rock advances regional deep water intake pipeline using eminent domain

The Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority is a partnership among Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock to bring water from Lake Travis to the cities.

The Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority is a partnership among Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock to bring water from Lake Travis to the cities.

Plans to pipe water from Lake Travis to the cities of Round Rock, Cedar Park and Leander advanced March 28.

Round Rock City Council voted 7-0 to use the power of eminent domain to acquire two properties under which it will build the pipeline. Eminent domain allows a government to take private property for public use with payment.

The action tonight advances plans for a regional water facility at Lake Travis. The Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority, a regional water system, signed agreements with Round Rock, Cedar Park and Leander city councils for the facility in 2017. While Round Rock at this time does not get any water from Lake Travis, it is a partner in the endeavor with plans to draw water in the future.

One of the properties that will be acquired through eminent domain is approximately 0.524 acres. The city offered $6,550 to the property owner, who was unresponsive to the offer, Round Rock Utilities Director Michael Thane told Community Impact Newspaper. The second property is about 0.414 acres. The property owner rejected the city’s $5,765 offer, Thane said.

The pipeline, which will have a diameter of 8 feet and a length of nearly 9,000 feet—will extend underneath the village of Volente. Volente is a town in Travis County with a population of 520 as of the 2010 census.

The depth of the pipeline—a 120-inch tunnel in diameter—will vary from 200 to 400 feet, depending on topography, Thane said.

“We will be so deep … that the property owners can still use the surface of their property,” Thane said in a presentation to City Council on March 26. “The only thing they can’t do is drill down into the land for a well.”

Council Member Tammy Young asked for studies to illustrate whether the tunneling could negatively impact a property owner’s land.

“That’s been a big concern [for the property owners],” Thane said. “That’s part of what they’re asking, 'Can you guarantee that my house is not going to crack in 10 years?'”

Thane referenced geotechnical studies that indicate the surface of the property will not be harmed. At Young’s request, he said he would make those studies available to council members.

“We’re going to take every precaution,” Thane said.

The city of Round Rock anticipates up to seven more acquisitions by eminent domain for this project, Thane told Community Impact Newspaper.

The deep water intake pipeline is in the design phase. Construction is still a few years out, Thane said.


MOST RECENT

Take a look at how the coronavirus has impacted Williamson County as of June 5. (Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Take a look at how coronavirus impacted Williamson County as of June 5

The county saw an additional 51 confirmed cases of coronavirus this week.

Williamson County and Cities Health District reported 12 additional cases of coronavirus June 5, bringing the county total to 672. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County ends the week with 12 additional cases of coronavirus June 5

Williamson County and Cities Health District reported 12 additional cases of coronavirus June 5, bringing the county total to 672.

The city of Round Rock officially opened a 1.13-mile extension of the Brushy Creek Regional Trail on June 5. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
VIDEO: New section of Brushy Creek Regional Trail now open in Round Rock

The new section is a 10-foot-wide concrete hike and bike trail that stretches from A.W. Grimes to Georgetown Street.

SNAP, a federal program overseen in Texas by the HHSC, assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families statewide. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Emergency SNAP food benefits extended in Texas during COVID-19 pandemic

SNAP assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families in Texas.

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to see its COVID-19 cases. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CMS reports 321 coronavirus deaths in Texas nursing homes, nearly 32,000 nationwide

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to its COVID-19 cases.

Currently, eight patients are hospitalized, per the report. (Courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Williamson County reports 11 additional cases, two additional deaths June 4

Currently, eight patients are hospitalized, per the report.

The Pflugerville Fire Department has sustained more than $200,000 in unbudgeted expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic, as confirmed in a June 2 department news release. (Community Impact Staff)
Pflugerville Fire Department reports $200,000 in unbudgeted expenses due to COVID-19

The Pflugerville Fire Department has sustained more than $200,000 in unbudgeted expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic, as confirmed in a June 2 department news release.

William Nzoiwu protests police brutality against the black community. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
7 ways Austin-area residents can promote racial equity through volunteering, donation efforts

Looking for a local way to get involved? Here is a roundup of opportunities.

Demonstrations, marches and protests are being held across the country following the death of George Floyd. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Black Pflugerville to host remembrance march honoring victims of police brutality

The march June 6 will be followed by open discussion with city leaders and an event with information on mental health care and voter registration, a healing circle and religious leaders available for counsel.

TO-DO LIST: 8 free activities in Round Rock, Pflugerville this June

From learning a new language to crafting up an award-winning recipe, here are eight things to do in Round Rock and Pflugerville this June.