The intake for the water treatment plant sits below the plant in Belton Lake.

The city of Killeen will have millions of dollars of infrastructure tied to the build out of the Turnbo Ranch subdivision overseen by local developer Bruce Whitis when it breaks ground later this year.

The city will also be the sole provider of the district’s drinking water per the agreement between the city and Whitis. The water sales and tap fees are expected to recoup the city’s ongoing maintenance of the district’s water utilities.

As the sole provider of water and sewer service to Turnbo Ranch — also known as the Bell County Municipal District No. 2 — the city will provide those services at a rate consistent with Killeen residents.

That rate was negotiated and agreed upon by the Killeen City Council during the agreement process in 2013.

The city of Belton, which also is operating under an agreement with WB Development for a separate municipal utility district, will charge residents of the Three Creeks subdivision a rate 25 percent higher for utility payments, and water and sewer tap fees.

According to Belton spokesman Paul Romer, the average resident in Belton pays $29 per month for water and sewer up to 2,000 gallons.

Residents of Three Creeks will pay $36.25 per month for the same service.

Killeen City Manager Ron Olson seemed unperturbed by the city not receiving a premium return for its services offered.

“That doesn’t seem too unreasonable to me because our fees, theoretically at least, are set at a rate to recover our cost to provide the service,” Olson said. “I don’t think there’s going to be a big challenge in doing that.”

The arrangement by which the city will take control of the development’s water and sewer infrastructure is outlined in the contract. As the development builds its infrastructure in phases, that infrastructure will then be dedicated to the city for maintenance.

The subdivision’s utility rates, much like those of Killeen, will go toward paying for maintenance and upkeep of district infrastructure and also supporting the Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No.1 — Killeen’s sole drinking water provider that also treats area wastewater through its regional system.

The average resident in Killeen pays $12.70 per month for treated water up to 2,000 gallons, according to Director of Public Information Hilary Shine, with a charge of $3.17 per additional 1,000 gallons.

However, the city charges the average resident a flat rate of $18.76 per month for wastewater service up to 3,000 gallons.

Adding water and sewer together, the average Killeen resident pays $31.46 per month — a higher rate than Belton residents.

PLANT ADDITION

Killeen resident rates could move higher in the coming years as the city pays off its nearly $30 million obligation to a new WCID-funded treatment plant on the shores of Stillhouse Hollow Lake.

The opening of the $50-million treatment plant to provide an extra 10 million gallons per day capacity of drinking water to Killeen and surrounding municipalities has been periodically postponed from late 2017 to early 2019, according to the district’s general manager, Ricky Garrett.

Garrett said the district submitted its final designs for the plant on Stillhouse Hollow Lake to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which owns easements in a buffer zone around the reservoir.

“An application has been submitted to the Corps of Engineers Regulatory Division for review and approval,” Garrett said in an email to the Daily Herald. “The district has been in constant communication with the Corps of Engineers in efforts to receive a more timely approval.”

The plant will eventually help supply drinking water to Turnbo Ranch after it connects its infrastructure into the district’s system.

Current plans have the district connecting to a city main in the vicinity of Chaparral and Featherline roads.

Per the city’s agreement with the developer, once water and sewer infrastructure is installed, it will be dedicated, or turned over, to the city for maintenance.

The plant funding agreement with the WCID was approved by the Killeen City Council in February 2014.

Under the terms of an agreement, the city is obligated to pay more than $25 million in principal debt service to the district through 2040 for the plant’s construction as well as a $5 million down payment approved in the contract.

Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 3 and 439 Water Supply Corp. pay debt service to cover the remaining cost of the plant.

According to the district, the amount of water the district now can pump to the city is 32 million gallons a day. The new plant will bring the capacity to 42 million gallons per day.

Currently, Killeen residents use about 15 million gallons a day, Shine said in December. The city can store up to 42 million gallons per day, Shine added.


SPECIAL SECTION: THE NEW FRONTIER

› Controversial future development shapes Killeen's growth

› Killeen developer doubles down on family ties for Belton MUD

› Belton MUD shows stark differences from counterpart in Killeen

› Killeen needs millions for projects related to Turnbo Ranch subdivision

› MUD denizens will pay the same as city residents for water supply

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(1) comment

Alvin
Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.
This is what is reported as being stated by the Killeen staff.
Copy of 'Controversial future development shapes Killeen's growth'.
Copy: 'I have not spent a lot of time to decide whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing because it doesn’t really matter,” Olson said. “It’s a binding contract, and the question is ‘how do we live up to what we’ve committed to?'
Continuation of copy: 'Olson’s greater concern — and one that he has expressed multiple times during his first three months with the city — is the assessment that the city and City Council have not acted with a unified vision for growth and development.' Continuation of copy: 'The developers are a part of every community in the United States of America,” Olson said. “They are people who are intimately connected with the community — they invest a lot of money, and they are not unique to this community.' End of copy.
Copy of 'Killeen needs millions for projects related to Turnbo Ranch subdivision'.
Copy: 'Josh Welch, of WB Development, said the developer will reimburse the city for the improvements from SH 195 to the northern boundary of the development.'
Continuation of copy: 'David Olson, the city’s director of public works, said the use of the new project will be 50/50 between city and development residents when the subdivision is fully built out.'
Continuation of copy: 'Despite that, the agreement between the developer and the city secures $4.1 million in repayments from the subdivision’s governing district, which taxes its residents, leaving the city responsible for nearly $16 million for the full project.'
Continuation of copy: 'Killeen Director of Public Information Hilary Shine said the difference in reimbursement costs is tied to the city expanding the scope of the project at a later date.'
Continuation of copy: 'The developer is contractually obligated to begin repaying its portion of the project to the city on an annual payment plan that will begin once its segment of the road project is completed, according to the contract.'
Continuation of copy: 'The payments are calculated by multiplying $1,500 by the number of annual water and wastewater utility connections made over the course of a year — meaning the developer pays dependent on the rate of growth in the district, and the city will recoup only after years of development.'
Continuation of copy: 'Shine said the city was seeking federal funding for the project through the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization, a regional partnership to promote local growth projects. David Olson told the council in January the project scores well for potential federal matching funds.'
continuation of copy: 'Olson said the project is currently a developer expense, but there’s a catch: The developer is responsible for contracting with a traffic engineer, who will recommend right-of-way dimensions for the road. If the city — which will look to annex the district once it is fully built out — desires different dimensions, the city is obligated to pay the cost of “oversizing” the road.'
Continuation of copy: 'Olson said in January the city would also need to address the section of Trimmier Road leading north from Chaparral Road to Stagecoach Road to accommodate the influx of new vehicles from the development into the city center.'
Contuation of copy: :The estimate to widen that stretch of road and install bike lanes is more than $6 million, according to the transportation program.'
Water Storage Tank:
Continuation of copy: 'Finally, the city is responsible for the construction of a 1-million-gallon water storage tank to provide adequate fire flow rates into the development.'
Continuation of copy: 'Olson said the city elected to upgrade that to a 3-million-gallon tank to provide for further growth in the area at a projected cost of $5.2 million with line connections. The city’s agreement says the developer must pay $1.25 million back on the project.'
How to Pay:
Continuation of copy: 'So how will the city fund those improvements — particularly when infrastructure needs could boom to $70 million citywide in the next few years?'
Continuation of copy: 'During a Killeen City Council “budget priorities” workshop in January, Olson said the city was currently in the process of determining funding for the road projects.'
Continuation of copy: 'Shine said April 24, “We are exploring all funding options to uphold our responsibilities in the agreement.'
Continuation of copy: 'Killeen City Manager Ron Olson said funding Chaparral Road could present issues due to language in the contract that does not stipulate how the project will be funded.'
Continuation of copy: 'The building (Chaparral) is more of a challenge because the commitment has been made without clear provisions of how that’s going to paid for and that’s still to be determined,” he said. “I can see a couple of potential pathways to get that done, and we’ve got time to work through more specifics.'
Continuation of copy: 'One of those options could be a new bond package taken before Killeen voters — but council members are already waffling over a property tax rate that is one of the highest in the city’s “benchmark” group and devotes 40 percent of its revenue to debt service.'
Continuation of copy: 'Another infrastructure bond package could skyrocket the city’s $252 million in outstanding debt and continue to constrain tax revenues that pay for operational expenses in the city.'
Continuation of copy: 'Another stopgap option could be a transportation utility fee — a monthly fee on households and businesses to recoup infrastructure maintenance and debt service costs — but that was voted down by the council in September.'
Continuation of copy: 'The city voted to continue its implementation of developer impact fees — one-time fees on building permits to help pay for capital improvement throughout the city — in March, but the council has been reticent to discuss any transportation fee.'
Continuation of copy: 'According to a presentation given to the council in June, the utility fee could recover around $7.5 million in debt service payments for transportation improvement projects.'
Continuation of copy: 'However, the city contractually cannot impose any form of impact fee on residents in the Whitis development, so the complete weight of any new fee would fall on Killeen residents and businesses alone.'
Comment : 'This above statement says 'the city contractually cannot impose any form of impact fee', thus this will fall on the residence 'alone'.
Continuation of copy: 'The city cannot wait long to make a decision.'
Continuation of copy: 'The consent agreement with WB Development appears to say the city must commence the Chaparral Road improvements on the sixth anniversary of the agreement’s effective date — Aug. 8, 2013.'
Continuation of copy: 'Ron Olson said his interpretation of the contract was that the project wasn’t mandated to begin until the development reached 1,000 residential utility connections — which could be years down the road.'
Comment: 'This I find exceedingly difficult to swallow in that in one breath it is written to say that the repayments will commence almost immediately and in another breath the statement are made that it will bee a long time before we see any repayment from this group, if any is ever made.
Continuation of copy: 'In the worst case scenario, the city has nearly 2½ years to decide on a funding mechanism for the improvements, with four more opportunities to bring a bond package up for a proposition vote.'
Comment: 'Note; that the above sentence says – four more opportunity's to bring a bond package up for proposition vote. I believe 'the hand writing is on the wall as to the method of preparing the council and the residences on what the preferred method is going to be.
Continuation of copy: 'The construction on the above-ground storage tank is not required to commence until the development reaches 1,500 utility connections, which the city estimates the district will reach in 2026.'
Comment: But the 'city management' has already stated that they are planning on this adventure is going to go from a 1 million gallon storage tank to a 3 million gallon storage tank, 'for further growth in this area'. Why didn't the city planners and estimators call for this in the beginning????
Killeen ISD
Continuation of copy: 'According to Killeen Independent School District spokesman Shannon Rideout, the school district’s boundaries currently encompass around one-third of the new development.'
Comment: 'If the city has already extended the boundaries to encompass about one-third of the new development, doesn't that require an out of boundary or service area which would be an additional service cost factor for this service???? Are we expected to 'let this group that doesn't pay for any of the city services, now they get a free ride in the area of schooling; I.E.: Where's the school tax????
Continuation of copy: 'Rideout said the district’s current strategic facilities plan shows the nearest schools that would serve the development are Alice W. Douse Elementary School, Charles E. Patterson Middle School and Ellison High School, but students could be rezoned to new campuses at a future date.'
Continuation of copy: 'During an April 11 board of trustees meeting, KISD Chief Financial Officer Megan Bradley presented an updated strategic facilities plan that includes opening a fifth high school by the 2021-22 school year to ease overcrowding at the school district’s other facilities.'
Continuation of copy: 'The proposed new high school could be located on a plot of land owned by KISD near the corner of Chaparral and Featherline roads. The land was sold to the school district in 2005 by local businessman Bill Yowell, who died Feb. 6.'
Continuation of copy: 'Before the new high school opens, the school district will be tasked with accommodating the development that has a scheduled build out of 200 homes per year, according to city estimates.'
Comment: Now there seems to be a contradiction here, 'why is it going to be years before we see a need for I believe t is am elevated storage tank if they are planning on an scheduled buildout of 200 homes per year????
Copy of 'MUD denizens will pay the same as city residents for water supply'.
Copy: 'Killeen City Manager Ron Olson seemed unperturbed by the city not receiving a premium return for its services offered.'
Continuation of copy: 'That doesn’t seem too unreasonable to me because our fees, theoretically at least, are set at a rate to recover our cost to provide the service,” Olson said. “I don’t think there’s going to be a big challenge in doing that.'
Comment: 'The average resident in Killeen pays $12.70 per month for treated water up to 2,000 gallons. a charge of $3.17 per additional 1,000 gallons. However, the city charges the average resident a flat rate of $18.76 per month for wastewater service up to 3,000 gallons.
Adding water and sewer together, the average Killeen resident pays $31.46 per month — a higher rate than Belton which is stated as $29.00 per month for these same services.
Continuation of copy: 'The arrangement by which the city will take control of the development’s water and sewer infrastructure is outlined in the contract. As the development builds its infrastructure in phases, that infrastructure will then be dedicated to the city for maintenance.
Comment: 'Do you notice that 'this infrastructure, when it is dedicated, the 'city will take control???? There isn't supposed to be 'a separate and entirely independent group that is going to maintain these independent services'. How does strike you????
The subdivision’s utility rates, much like those of Killeen, will go toward paying for maintenance and upkeep of district infrastructure and also supporting the Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No.1 — Killeen’s sole drinking water provider that also treats area wastewater through its regional system.
Comment: I thought that this group that is shown as MUD #2, now the conversation is said to be supporting 'Water Control and Improvement District No.1 — Killeen’s sole drinking water provider that also treats area wastewater through its regional system.' Does that mean that not only will this group be providing and supporting MUD #2, but now is going to play a part in 'Water Control and Improvement District No.1 — Killeen’s sole drinking water provider that also treats area wastewater through its regional system.'????
The average resident in Killeen pays $12.70 per month for treated water up to 2,000 gallons, according to Director of Public Information Hilary Shine, with a charge of $3.17 per additional 1,000 gallons.
However, the city charges the average resident a flat rate of $18.76 per month for wastewater service up to 3,000 gallons.
Adding water and sewer together, the average Killeen resident pays $31.46 per month — a higher rate than Belton. Now doesn't our city manager, Ron Olsen see a problem brewing here????
Just another of my personal opinions as stated herein.
One of the 4.68 percent that voted.

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