LOCAL NEWS

Cedar Park City Council asks voters to consider drainage program

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In an effort to address flooding in neighborhoods with aging infrastructure, the Cedar Park City Council is asking voters to decide on reallocating a portion of sales tax revenue to fund a stormwater drainage and street repair program.

The Council voted 6-0 at its Jan. 25 meeting to include the drainage program proposal in the city’s May 5 election. Voters will decide whether to use a quarter of the half cent portion of city sales tax revenue put toward the city’s Economic Development Sales Tax Corporation, or 4A Board, to fund the program.

If voters approve the program, it could receive about $1.78 million in funding annually based on current sales tax projections, city staff have said.

Currently, the city’s general fund only pays for basic maintenance, such as debris removal, sweeping and cleaning streets in flood events and regulation compliance, such as clean water maintenance, said assistant city manager Sam Roberts.

“This is our best shot at addressing the issue,” he said.

An online city survey in December found most of the 450 residents who completed it in favor of the idea. Staff said 81 percent of respondents want the new use for the sales tax.

Several older neighborhoods in the city were built without curbs or gutter systems, causing rain to pool in low areas, sometimes taking several days to disperse, according to accounts of Cedar Park residents.

“After seeing some of the drainage issues I think we need to take a serious look,” said Scott Smith, president of the Ranch at Brushy Creek HOA. ”I was not in favor of taking from the sales tax funding sources earlier, but I think this is a compromise that will give us funding that will get us some grant writers for federal assistance.”

In addition to the stormwater drainage ordinance addition to the May ballot, voters will be asked to approve several city charter amendments. The proposed amendments vary, from amending procedures for filling council vacancies to removing gender pronouns from the charter language.

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