Council will discuss moving into Drought Level I and waste collections

City of San Angelo

The San Angelo City Council will meet Tuesday morning to discuss possibly enacting Drought Level 1 in the City’s Drought Contingency Plan, updating an 18-year old water master plan and results from the waste collection survey.

Water conservation is on the minds of most West Texans especially as the state moves into the summer months. In the last Water Advisory Board meeting, by a unanimous vote, it was recommended the resolution for Drought Level I be taken to the following City Council meeting for adoption.

Trigger points are included in the plan for entering three different drought stages. The Colorado River Municipal Water District projects that Ivie water will be available until January 2017. At that time the City will be dependent on its local lakes, supplemented by groundwater from the Hickory Aquifer, for water supply which is projected to last to spring of 2018. Following the use of available surface water, the City will be totally dependent upon the groundwater from the Hickory Aquifer, which according to a city memo, at this time cannot meet the daily needs of the City. Based on the water supply currently available to the City, the criteria for entering Drought Stage, Level I, are met. Drought Level I is enacted when the City has less than a two-year supply of water available.

The City is working on a major street rehabilitation program in San Angelo. As part of this program, it will be necessary to replace aging water and sewer infrastructure. Council has developed a 10-year financing plan for the streets and the City engineering department is asking the city to develop a funding option for the water and sewer rehabilitation as well.

According to a memo prepared by Joe Mangrem, assistant City engineer, growth and change dictate that a city must periodically perform a comprehensive examination of its water system in order to identify deficiencies, project population trends and future water demands and update the Capital Improvement Plan to prioritize projects. This process is called water master planning. Preparation of a municipal water master plan is a highly specialized and technical undertaking, to ensure that the infrastructure is managed wisely, effectively planned and budgeted. The City of San Angelo last performed a Water Master Plan in 1998, 18 years ago. Total cost of the water master planning is estimated at $314,460.

The City has recently completed an online survey for waste collection services. According to a memo to the City, staff received several complaints from citizens regarding the disposal of yard waste and other bulky items. In a January council meeting, staff proposed reducing pick up of recyclables to every other week in order to increase the bulk pick up to once a month to address the issues. In that meeting council needed more feedback to determine the level of service citizens would like. Staff conducted an online survey for citizens to voice their opinion on the issue. The survey resulted in 2,626 total responses with 76 percent in favor of the proposed changes and 24 percent in favor of the current service.

In Tuesday’s meeting solid waste management staff will receive direction from council on proposed changes in waste collection service.