By Moses Leos III
The City of Kyle is taking steps to gain full control of its wastewater treatment plant, currently owned by Aqua Operations, as litigation continues between the two entities.
By a 6-0 vote Tuesday, the Kyle City Council moved to purchase the treatment plant, with the possibility of approving and executing an agreement with the terms of purchase by July.
No dollar amount has been finalized, as negotiations are ongoing. Kyle Mayor Todd Webster hopes the city can position itself on how to budget the plant during this budget session.
The facility, located on the east side of IH-35 near the Waterleaf subdivision, is owned and operated by Aqua. Kyle owns the property the facility is located on.
Webster said the purchase of the plant has been in the works for “half a decade.” He was confident the city could cover the cost of taking over the plant.
“We’ve known it was coming, so there’s been an effort to prepare for it financially,” he said.
But the agreement may not end ongoing litigation between both entities. A portion of that stems from a 2012 spill that dumped 100,000 gallons of partially treated sewage into Plum Creek.
According to Webster, the move to purchase the plant was necessary, and that the city needs to “move on and move forward with dealing with that.”
Preparing for the future, primarily the need to improve and expand capacity of the plant, is the goal. Webster said it would allow the city to put itself in a position to plan and address its' wastewater treatment system.
“We need to add to our wastewater treatment plant,” Webster said. “Under our current structure, we’re hemmed in and we can’t do that.”
It’s one part of the city’s plan to improve infrastructure across town. According to Webster wastewater infrastructure improvements are a “big part” of City Manager Scott Seller’s proposed budget.
“The biggest thing that is going to constrain our ability to develop economically and grow as a community is addressing wastewater infrastructure,” Webster said.