Trophy Club residents attend MUD Open House

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Sheri Watkins doesn’t consider herself to be caught up in local politics. But Watkins, who has lived in Trophy Club for 10 years, likes staying informed.

She’s one of the 70-plus people who attended the Trophy Club Municipal Utility District 1 open house on Sept. 30 at the Trophy Club fire station. It was a chance for residents of both the MUD and a public improvement district (PID) outside the MUD boundaries to ask any questions of the district’s officials, including where they stand on a proposal that would dissolve the MUD and have the town take over its services.

Watkins said she left the event, held semi-outdoors in the open bays of the Trophy Club fire department, feeling better informed about the services the MUD is providing and why the district has shown no signs of accepting a plan to dissolve.

“I’m really happy they had it,” Watkins said. “It was definitely good and I really wish even more people had decided to show up.”

Pam Liston, legal counsel to the MUD, said the event was all about educating the community about what the MUD does and why its board has made the decisions it has. Information booths were set up to show how water is treated and other services the MUD provides. And residents were free to ask any questions from the very basics to specifics about the ongoing dialogue between it and the town of Trophy Club.

“I was really proud of the staff,” Liston said. “They did a great job explaining what the MUD is and how it provides a great service to our customers.”

The MUD had good news to share with the residents in attendance. The district handles water, wastewater and sewer services for the town of Trophy Club and the Solana business development in Westlake. The MUD also provides fire services in the district and the PID. The district recently received superior recognition from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. For more than 10 years the MUD has been designated a Superior Public Water System by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. TCEQ, successor to the former commission, recently reissued the Superior recognition.

Taxpayers from the MUD and residents of the PID also got to learn more about the ongoing situation involving the town of Trophy Club’s interest in dissolving the MUD. District Manager Jennifer McKnight gave a presentation in which she explained why the district has declined the town’s requests to dissolve the MUD. McKnight told the audience that the MUD has among the lowest rates in north Texas and outstanding customer service and that it does not make financial sense to consolidate. According to McKnight’s presentation, MUD customers save between $8 and $120 on their monthly bill compared to customers in

The town of Westlake has offered to pay to take over its portion of the MUD district, but the Trophy Club MUD remains committed to serving the Solana business customers unless an agreement with Westlake to dissolve that part of the MUD is reached in the future, McKnight said. Solana in Westlake was annexed into the district in 1982. Even if a utility contract with Solana terminates in 2022, the MUD still must serve all customers within its district boundaries, McKnight said

MUD also has a contract to serve customers outside its boundaries in Trophy Club’s PID. The PID, which is in the town of Trophy Club’s city limits, is served by the MUD. Instead of a tax, there was an agreed-upon fee. The MUD would like the PID customers to pay “their fair share” of a needed upgrade to the MUD’s wastewater treatment plant, McKnight said.

However, the MUD’s service to the PID could be coming to an end in the near future. The current contract between the PID and MUD can terminate within the next 18 to 24 months when all utility fees are paid, McKnight said. Without a new contract, upgrade costs will be higher for all MUD customers, McKnight said in the presentation.

Watkins, for one, said she left the event hoping the MUD continues serving its current customers for years to come.

“I’m hopeful the MUD will stand its ground,” Watkins said.

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