Magnolia nears completion on utility pipeline extension project

Magnolia nears completion on utility pipeline extension project Crews are finishing the installation of new water and sewer pipelines along FM 1488.[/caption]

Since approved in late 2014, one of the most significant projects for the city of Magnolia has been the construction of its $5 million water and sewer pipeline extension to the new city limits at FM 1488 and FM 149.

“They’ve been moving pretty quickly inside the city while dodging three other utilities—water, sewer and phone lines,” Magnolia Mayor Todd Kana said. “I’d say lengthwise we’ve completed quite a bit of it. We’re still thinking maybe late January for completion if we get some decent weather.”

The 3-mile project will extend water and sewer utilities from the former city limits along FM 1488 near the Magnolia Ridge subdivision to the new city limits, which includes a 163-acre tract that was annexed in June 2014.

The extension project, which began construction in mid-2015, is funded through bonds that will be paid back through sales tax revenue from future development on the property and other surrounding future retail projects, Kana said.

“We budgeted close to a surplus and had some funds left over last year so that we could carry the note [of the bonds] without any major changes,” Kana said. “We figured we’d be paying that note about three years before we saw benefits from the extension. It is paid out of the general fund with no anticipation of an ad valorem tax increase.”

On the 163-acre tract, Austin-based Stratus Properties Inc. is planning to develop the 142-acre Magnolia Commons mixed-use development. Development partner Jon Andrus said the city indicated in early December the water and sewer pipeline extension should be fully complete by April 1.

“We’re waiting on the two things to get finished [to begin the project]: the widening of FM 1488 [with the overpass] and the city putting in water and sewer mains,” Andrus said. “We’re still on hold until we get those further down the road.”