Although Lakeway City Council met for just under two hours Monday night, members approved a number of significant new rulings that will affect the city’s residents.
The meeting was also a first for newly promoted Assistant City Manager Julie Oakley, the city's former financial director.
Jo Karr Tedder, president of the Central Texas Water Coalition, addresses Lakeway City Council regarding relevant water planning legislation.[/caption]
- Following a presentation by Jo Karr Tedder, president of the Central Texas Water Coalition, on relevant water planning bills discussed during the 2017 state legislative session, the council unanimously approved continuing its interlocal cooperation agreement to provide $5,000 toward the nonprofit organization’s program. The CTWC’s stated mission is to protect the interests of businesses and residents in the Highland Lakes region.
Tedder said her group’s focus centered around two proposed legislative bills, including Senate Bill 347, introduced by Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, that would increase transparency in regional water planning by applying the Texas Open Meetings and Public Information acts to all activities of the state’s 16 regional water planning groups.
House Bill 605, introduced by Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, would allow economic effects on a community to be considered in the issuance of a water permit by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Tedder said. As it stands, this provision is not a part of the TCEQ’s list of considerations when issuing such a permit and was a factor in 2011 when the Lower Colorado River Authority approved water to be sent downstream from the Highland Lakes for agricultural uses, she said.
“The time to plan for water is when the lakes are full and not when [we are] in a drought,” Tedder said.
2. By unanimous vote, the City Council approved a special-use permit for Lakeway Veterinary Clinic, 1003 S. RR 620, Lakeway, to expand its operations into a 24-hour veterinary facility.
Lakeway Mayor Pro Tem Dwight Haley (left) and Mayor Joe Bain contemplate granting a preliminary plan to new subdivision Lakeway Estates.[/caption]
3. By a vote of 5-1, with Council Member Jean Hennagin voting ‘no,’ the City Council approved a variance and preliminary plan for Lakeway Estates, an 11-lot subdivision on 46 acres west of Serene Hills Court. The project is set to include large properties set on a very steep topography, and the developer’s request was to allow for a more narrow road on a curve on the tract.
4. By unanimous vote, the council approved a new solid waste collection, recycling and disposal service contract with Waste Connections Inc. The contract, set to close April 1, will be at a higher rate for waste disposal than previously negotiated, requiring residents to pay an increase of $3 monthly over the existing $18 monthly rate to cover the added cost. Starting with the July 1 bill, the fee for this service for Lakeway customers will be $21 monthly.