Among the elections for city council and school boards throughout Tarrant County, the election for the Trophy Club Municipal Utility District board also has three seats being contested on May 10.
Incumbent Kevin Carr is running to continue his 14-year term with the MUD. Carr once served on Town Council for two years and currently owns companies that do insurance property claims.
“I enjoy making a difference,” he said. “I live here and have investment here, and enjoy being involved in any way I can.”
Carr said one of his priorities is to get the wastewater plan upgrades finished without further obstacles to provide “clean, safe, quality water at reasonable prices.” The treatment plant is proposed to undergo changes to fit in with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality standards.
He said continued work in the Solana development is necessary to keep costs from rising too high for residents.
Glenn Strother, managing partner of commercial construction company AUI Contractors, said he is running for the board after serving five years on Town Council and being involved in community service for 12 years. Strother said he experienced the relationship between the MUD and the Council and wants to come up with a better strategic plan for the two to operate under, as well as a better method of working within Solana in Westlake.
He said he believes the MUD needs to “strongly explore” the best way to maintain a long-term solution for providing service to Solana and the changes proposed for the water treatment facility before going into debt. He said a possibility includes analyzing what the MUD could work out with Denton Creek Regional Wastewater System, which serves much of Northeast Tarrant County, before fully jumping in.
“The way I look at it, we have one town and one group of citizens we all represent, and we need to find a way to work together. Hopefully, I can bring that with me,” he said. “We need to sit down with the town of Westlake and work toward a solution with the buyout and annex, and get creative and not locked into a perspective without being willing to look into other opportunities.”
Jim Hase, a retired regional comptroller for AT&T, said he is running for a seat on the MUD board for three main reasons: to sustain a presence in Solana, to continue development on the wastewater plant expansions and to continue to be among the lowest water rates in the area.
“We need to sustain a presence in Solana and not let Westlake take that away from us,” he said. Hase added the presence in Solana would be profitable for both towns with Westlake’s plan to develop a $500 million mixed-use development.
Hase served on the Council from 2000 to 2010 and said he would like to see continued development within the town, including furthering the expansion of the wastewater plant for improved functionality.
He said in order to have the lowest water rates in the area, the MUD should help control costs, sustain revenue from Solana and avoid using water revenue to pay other town expenses.
Incumbent Bill Armstrong has been on the board for four years and agrees that water conservation and cost should be a priority.
“We will work in any way that we can to conserve water so we can enjoy the lifestyle we have here, but also be good stewards of water,” he said.
Armstrong added the necessity for expanding and modernizing the wastewater treatment plant, saying that there is unfinished business that needs to be resolved from the past few years.
“We are in the process of getting bonds for (the treatment plant) and we are desperately trying to proceed with planned upgrades,” he said. “We have some obstruction from Westlake, and we’re going to have to work through that and get the project underway.”
He said the MUD’s agreement with the town over providing water and wastewater to the public improvement district in Trophy Club is among some of the good things that have happened this year.
Incumbent Jim Thomas has been with the MUD for 30 years and was on the board when all jurisdictions merged into one. Thomassaid the most pressing issue for Trophy Club is continuing work on the wastewater plant.
“We must start work on this plant,” he said. “We’ve been working very closely for the last eight or nine months on getting the plant re-purposed and approved and seeing that through is the largest issue.”
Thomas added that the MUD should continue service to Solana and agreed that it would be the most financially sound decision for all residents.
“The MUDs in Trophy Club should someday go away; but, only when it is in the best interest, financially, for the residents living within those MUDs for them to do so,” he wrote on his website.
Attempts to reach Place 5 candidate Steven Palla were unsuccessful.