The Green Valley Special Utility District on Nov. 9 celebrated the official groundbreaking ceremony for its new headquarters building and warehouse facility located at 607 S. Center St., Marion.
According to GVSUD General Manager Pat Allen, the new facility is designed to last at least four decades. It will include an 18,603-square-foot headquarters building, and a 28,000-square-foot warehouse and yard, planned for completion in 2023.
Allen said the rapid growth in Texas and the area GVSUD covers led to a new need as the company serves around 15,000 connections for more than 40,000 people.
“We have grown substantially,” Allen said. “We have enjoyed many years of growth. Even in the decline during 2009 and 2010, we were still putting meters in every year. We still have the development needs coming into our service area.”
According to a Green Valley release, in 2020, Green Valley set 800 water meters and 300 sewer connections, a distinct record for the number of new connections in one year.
With this rapid growth, Allen and GVSUD decided a plan needed to be in place to accommodate new developments requiring water and sewer connections.
“This new facility represents all the things that we have been working on for the last 20 years,” Allen said. “It has gotten to a point where our footprint has grown, that we need to expand our boundaries into a new facility that accommodates the employees with the expertise that we need to hire to look at the future.”
GVSUD expects over 24 new subdivisions coming into their service area over the next five to 10 years, which will include between 5,000 and 8,000 new homes, according to Allen.
While the new facility is a milestone in helping GVSUD support area growth, the GVSUD team will continue focusing on the sustainability of the current connections.
“Anything we build has to be around a 30- to 50-year life, even the pipelines we put into the ground today,” Allen said.
Apart from the infrastructure, GVSUD also has long-term water plans and agreements to ensure the area will be provided with water and sewer services.
According to Kathleen Jackson, board member from the Texas Water Development Board, Texas approaches the future of the water supply differently from other states.
“We have two challenges in Texas,” Jackson said. “We are in a perpetual drought punctuated by tons of floods.”
The goal of the Texas Water Development Board is to act as a financing arm to incentivize water enhancement projects and put together the state water plan.
Jackson said she commends GVSUD for its growth and improving the water supply for new developments in the San Antonio metro area.
“From the state perspective, what we see in the initiative that Green Valley and their board and leadership has taken, is that they are very much being proactive instead of reactive,” Jackson said. “They are looking at not only the needs of today but also the growth needs for the future to make sure that our children and children’s children have the water supply that they need.”