The latest wrinkle in the LCRA - Hamilton Pool Road water line saga is a doosey. It appears that there is no one left to tap into that proposed line except Rebecca Hudson and her development of 468 houses. In the beginning, the LCRA proclaimed that they had to have approximatelt 1,300 taps to make the construction of the pipe viable. So how, with only 468 taps, are they going to do it now? Glad you asked.

Rebecca Hudson is going to pay all the costs for running a water line from Cueva Road, to which there is already existing service, to her development up Crumley Ranch Road. The line, under this new plan, will be downsized from the original 16" down to 12". This line would end at the Hudson development but the 12" pipe would have enough capacity for hundreds more homes that might be built in future subdivisions between 71 and Crumley Ranch Road.

Despite Rebecca Hudson's heavy campaigning to gain their support, It is very possible that the line will not service the three subdivisions at RR12 - Deer Creek, Saddletree and WestCave. Some people in these subdivisions have been vocal supporters of the pipeline in the hopes that they would get a source of good, cheap water. These people have been deceived.

Now here's the sweetheart part. According to the LCRA's Brent Covert, the estimated cost of running the line the 2.8 miles from Cueva up to Crumley Ranch and then the additional (approximately) .8 mile farther up Hamilton Pool Road to the Hudson's place (a total of about 3.6 miles) is $1 million. Not a bad price, $278,000 per mile, especially when you compare it with the LCRA's estimated cost of running the line the additional 1.9 miles from Hudson's to RR12. (LCRA Engineer Randy Goss said he thought it would be more like $1.2 million but why split hairs over a couple hundred thousand dollars.) The LCRA has been telling people that to go beyond the Hudson property, up to RR12, would cost another $4-5 million or a per mile cost of about 2.1 to 2.6 million dollars! See, the LCRA claims that to go any farther than Crumley, the system will require a pump station and a huge tank, boosting the cost enormously.

Confidential to existing landowners along Hamilton Pool Road: LCRA is only interested in delivering water to new future subdivisions, not pre-existing ones. This way, they say, they can be sure the infrastructure and delivery are up to their standards. How do you like them apples? So all the pain felt for the poor folks with lousy wells turns out to be a bunch of hooey. They are being left out of this current plan altogether unless they can come up with the big bucks to pay their share of the exhorbitant costs being proposed.

The LCRA people have said they will be trying to enlist lot owners at Saddletree and WestCave to sign up for taps. They are not optimistic about signing up enough people to absorb the high cost of the waterline extension. If both of these subdivisions did participate at a 90% rate (Goss threw out the figure 80%), which is very likely not going to happen, the cost per lot owner there could come out to $10-12 thousand (enough to put in a nice rainwater system). And then they would still have to pay hefty monthly charges for their water (Randy Goss's estimate was $75/month). So, given that the water line is almost surely going to stop at Rebecca Hudson's delightful subdivision, what's in it for the rest of us? Can you say unbearable traffic? How about school and safety issues? Arrggghhh!

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