Wastewater Treatment Plan and Disaster Response Town Hall
Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas - On April 18, the City of Fair Oaks Ranch held its second quarterly town hall meeting to discuss the upcoming expansion of the Wastewater Treatment Plant and to provide information and gather feedback from residents on the impact of the Winter Storm Mara weather event and the City’s disaster response.
The town hall began with a few brief comments from residents expressing concern over the impact the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s expansion may have on a few surrounding homes. Grant Watanabe, Director of Public Works, provided information highlighting the multi-phase expansion of the plant along with the benefits provided by an increase in capacity, and the cost savings associated with the project compared to other options the City studied.
Director of Public Works, Grant Watanabe gives a presentation on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion project.
The City evaluated five different options and has selected a plan to increase the plant’s treatment capacity from approximately 350,000 gallons per day to 468,000 gallons per day. The chosen option is estimated to cost around $16-17 million, significantly lower than the initial estimate of nearly $60 million for a brand-new plant, demonstrating the City's commitment to being fiscally responsible while meeting the growing needs of our City.
During the town hall meeting, Mayor Maxton provided a recap of the recent emergency event and acknowledged that while the City had taken proactive measures to prepare for the storm by treating streets and preparing for overnight operations, the amount of ice accumulation was more significant than anticipated. The Fair Oaks Ranch Police Department (FORPD) went door-to-door to ensure the safety of residents, and the City's Communications and Public Works departments provided constant updates to keep the public informed.
Mayor of Fair Oaks Ranch, Greg Maxton, speaks at the City's second town hall.
The City also highlighted efforts to work closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to validate expenditures related to the winter storm, ensuring transparent and accountable use of resources. Mayor Maxton acknowledged that while he is hopeful that the City will receive reimbursement for expenses related to the cleanup of the Kendall and Comal County portions of the City, Bexar County will not be eligible for reimbursement through a disaster declaration. However, these discussions are still ongoing.
After Mayor Maxton’s remarks and the presentation, residents had a chance to participate in breakout stations showcasing the current operation of the wastewater treatment plant and how the expansion will positively impact operations.
ParticpantsParticipants also were able to view samples from the treatment plant showcasing the water quality as it moved through the treatment process.
Wastewater Operator Roland Rios explains the treatment process to a group of residents.
A second breakout station focused on the disaster response. Poster boards displayed a timeline of actions the City took beginning from the date officials knew the storm was coming up through the current recovery. The timeline highlighted the actions the City took to ensure roadways were kept drivable, water remained available, and residents remained safe. A timeline of the brush collection was also available to allow residents to view the City’s cleanup efforts.
Assistant Director of Public Works discusses the Bruch Cleanup Map at a breakout station.
Overall, the second quarterly town hall was a success with dozens of residents in attendance to ask questions and speak with City leaders. City Council plans to hold two more town halls this year, with topics to be decided based on community feedback.