Sugar Land City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve a settlement agreement with the Gulf Coast Water Authority regarding a pending water rights amendment concerning Oyster Creek.
The city had applied for water rights amendment to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as part of the dissolution of Water Control Improvement District No. 1 in Fort Bend County.
“The Gulf Coast Water Authority opposed the permit amendment for a variety of reasons, but mostly because their water rights allows them usage of any water not utilized by the city,” Water Utilities Director SuEllen Staggs said.
The water authority and the city share rights to Oyster Creek. The water authority holds 12,000 acre-feet of water rights on Oyster Creek, while the city holds the remaining rights for 18,159 acre-feet of water. The city began mediation with the water authority concerning the issue in November 2011.
“Through the mediation process, a framework was created to resolve all of the outstanding issues between the parties,” Staggs said. “As mediation continued, the new general manager, Ivan Langford, and the reconfigured board of directors began to recognize that Sugar Land’s water right amendment request was a not a threat to their water issues.”
The agreement includes the water authority removing their protest to the city’s water rights amendment, while the city agrees to self-limit the water diverted to 6,000 acre-feet a year for agricultural purposes, and no more than 15 acre-feet per day during a drought.
The city will also not supply a customer of the water authority unless the customer has been curtailed by the water authority, and the city will share meter reading from the pump stations with the GCWA.
As part of the agreement, the city also will notify the water authority 30 days in advance of any pending water diversions, including the location and diversion rate anticipated.
The city council voted unanimously to approve a one-year contract for City Manager Allen Bogard. The contract is effective October 1 through September 30, 2013. The item was discussed in closed session.
The city council voted to award a $1 million contract to S&C Construction Company, Inc. for 2013 pavement rehabilitation projects.
The city council voted to award a $224,740 contract to Halff Associates, Inc. for the design of the Ragus Lake Drainage Improvements.
The project will rectify storm sewer capacity and sheet flow issues at the Ragus Lake Estates and Covington Woods subdivisions. The issues were discovered following ponding and street flooding during a storm in January.
The city council voted to authorize the issuance of $6,395,000 in tax bonds by Fort Bend Municipal Utility District No. 138.
The district includes 696 acres of the Telfair community development. The bonds will be the fifth issued in a bond package that totals $86,450,000, and will provide improvements for water and drainage infrastructure.
The city council voted to authorize a $2,430,000 bond issue by Fort Bend Municipal Utility District No. 137. The district, also located within the Telfair development, contains 816 acres of land. The issue will be the sixth installment of an overall $81.8 million bond package, and will also be used for water and drainage improvements.
All items were approved. All votes were unanimous with council members Amy Mitchell and Bridget Yeung absent. Council Member Harish Jajoo arrived later in the meeting, and was not present to vote on several items. Agenda