Granite Shoals Citizens for Progress

Why We Need the Sewer

April 22, 2011 | Posted in

Vote for Continued  Positive Progress, Vote for the GS Sewer Bonds!

By Frank Reilly

On May 14, Granite Shoals voters will decide the fate of the first phase of a sewer system.  The vote is more significant than the charter election which brought us professional city management,  home rule governance, and five years of remarkable progress.

GS needs a sewer system to continue that positive progress, to ensure cleaner water in Lake LBJ, and to secure the city’s future.  For over 5 years, the city council intensely studied the issue and methodically developed a plan to phase-in a bond funded city wide sewer system.  The city will also pay to connect homes to the system, decommission septic tanks, replace aging water lines, and repair street damage.

Tying in existing residents, decommissioning septics, and dealing with GS’ granite, rolling hills and sprawl is costly.  Further, the city dithered for decades and didn’t build a system when costs were cheaper and grants were available.  The system’s cost requires phasing-in the system, as it’s too expense to build all at once. Phasing also allows the tax base to grow over time and help pay for future construction.

GS residents need and deserve nearby services, such as doctors and grocery stores, which will build in GS if a sewer system exists.  This will allow sales taxes to remain in GS.

Similarly, visitors to the Andy Roddick Tennis Center, the Leo Manzano trail system and the proposed Quarry Park, will need lodging and additional dining opportunities.  Neither will come without a sewer system, and the revenues will leave GS until they are built.

For decades, GS has needed significant road and water system improvments and a comprehensive code enforcement program.  While I am very proud of our recent progress, GS lacks, and has always lacked, the resources to fully and effectively solve these issues.  A sewer system will create the sustained and positive economic development necessary to increase and diversify our tax base with new businesses and homes. This will provide the resources for the city to make signficant strides toward infrastructure and image upgrades.

Finally, it is just plain irresponsible for a lakeside city  built on a thin layer of granite gravel on top of solid granite bedrock to rely on over 2,000 (and growing) septic systems.  Nutrient and bacteria laden septic water cause algae blooms and pose significant health issues.  Shouldn’t we handle this problem ourselves before a state or federal agency forces us do it under their terms?

Change is coming regardless of whether GS builds a sewer system, but without one, the change will neither be as beneficial, nor will the citizens have the ability to control it.

GS voters, you again have the city’s future in your hands.  Please vote for the sewer bonds.


Reilly is the Mayor of the City of Granite Shoals, and has a law practice in Horseshoe Bay and Austin.


Citizens for Progress