Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the bond authorization will be for 25 years, not 20 years.
Grand Lakes Municipal Utility District 1 unanimously voted Feb. 4 to place a 25-year, $20.8 million bond authorization item on the May 4 election ballot.
The MUD, which covers the southeast portion of the Grand Lakes master-planned community, has about $1 million remaining from its $18.82 million bond authorized in 2001.
“We’ve been managing the district with $18 million, and we’re asking for $20 million for the next 20 (plus) years,” said Christopher Skinner, an attorney for Schwartz Page & Harding LLP and the lawyer for Grand Lakes MUDs 1, 3 and 4.
Grand Lakes MUD 1 oversees the water treatment plant that serves the entire Grand Lakes community, board members said. If approved by voters, the bond money will be used for future maintenance and upkeep of the plant as well as lift stations, water supply lines, the collection system and storm sewers.
The Grand Lakes MUD 1 board emphasized it had no intention of immediately issuing bonds if voters approve the bond authorization, but the money will be available should another disaster similar to Hurricane Harvey hit the community again.
“If we have another flood, we can pay for [the repairs],” Vice President Nicole Whitman said.
Board members said their MUD is more susceptible to flooding than the other two Grand Lakes MUDs. About half the homes in Grand Lakes MUD 1 were affected by the flooding from the 2017 storm, board Secretary Will Shutt said.
During Harvey, the water plant took on about 3 feet of water but was not destroyed, district operator Charlie Chapline said.
“Considering what happened, [the water plant]performed very well [during Harvey],” he said.
Grand Lakes MUDs 3 and 4 will not put bond issues on the May ballot and may not for the upcoming November election either, MUD 1 board members said. However, it is only a matter of time before those MUDs go to voters for permission to authorize additional bonds to pay for the upkeep of its water and drainage facilities, they said.