2011-12-15 / Community News

From the Mayor’s Desk

by Robert Willrich, Sr.

It has been my great honor and pleasure to serve the City as its Mayor for the last sixteen years. Although challenges continue, the City is in much better condition than when I first took office. Although we continue to have a small city staff and Police Department, we now have employees that we can all be proud of; and, despite the economic downturn over the last several years, which has seriously affected all of us, including cities large and small, we have made progress.

More work is needed on our streets, in part as a result of the increasing deterioration due to drought damage, even though we have improved some streets.

We obtained a new City Hall and converted the prior City Hall into a Police Station, and have identified and prepared for other improvements that are required. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

The City obtained a $250,000 grant to help finance TCEQ required improvements to our wastewater discharge ponds. Unfortunately, that work will cost $390,000 more than the amount of the grant and we will have to move forward with that work or face TCEQ daily fines of up to $10,000.

We also need to put a filtration system on our water and update some sewer lines. This work will have to be financed by bonds. The sad part is, if we don’t do what the TCEQ asks us, they can come in and take over our City.

LCRA recently did a survey in Lexington and made recommendations regarding our electric system. That survey identified a number of utility poles that will need to be replaced in order for us to avoid possible outage issues and potential liabilities.

Some of the other issues we are currently giving priority to are finding the most cost-effective basis for funding and making more street repairs, replacing a number of poles for the electric system, and obtaining a more dependable water supply.

We have budgeted for street work, but, if the weather damage continues at the recent pace, it may be necessary to find more funds for the streets.

In addition, we need to determine and reach an agreement on the most cost-effective option available for the City to assure an adequate water supply in the near future. The most dependable and least expensive option, compared to the high cost of a new well, and with the drought risk of relying on the groundwater supply available locally, may be to purchase water from the company that is extending waterlines through the City.

Although it appears we can look forward to growth and improvements in the local economy as the area economy rebounds, we have work to do and decisions to make that cannot wait.

On another note, we are very proud of the Eagles and of the effort they put in to another fantastic football season.

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