Lakeway MUD- HMMMM what do you think?

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LMUD, Lakeway takeover tensions resurface

Thursday, January 17, 2013 | Devin Monk

War wounds reopened at Lakeway Municipal Utility District’s board meeting Jan. 9 meeting as directors discussed a land tract that has served as a battleground between the district and the City of Lakeway in on-and-off-again feuds.

At the core of this latest flare up is a triangle-shaped 3.21-acre tract in the Village of The Hills that exists in both Lakeway and Hurst Creek municipal utility districts.

“I don’t think that’s the way it should be,” said LMUD board member Mel Neese, who suggested a boundary realignment. “To me, this is a housekeeping procedure.”

If LMUD turned the parcel over to Hurst Creek, it would release one of several district tracts that fall outside Lakeway city limits. Should all of LMUD exist within Lakeway, that alignment would eliminate one obstruction in the city’s ability to take control of the district.

Board president Karl Ansbach questioned why the district would want to correct the overlay that Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has ruled inconsequential.

“If there was a valid reason … then that would be different,” Ansbach said.

Neese denied a realignment would play into the city’s hand.

“I realize that some of you believe that this is an effort by the City of Lakeway to take over the MUD,” Neese stated. “This could not be further from the truth.”

Board member Jerry Hietpas said he perceived the move as a renewed takeover.

“Although the tactics are a little different, I cannot tell the difference in what I observe here today and what happened here four years ago, and I am sorely disappointed,” Hietpas said, referring to a 2009 struggle with Lakeway. “Why doesn’t the city come to us and discuss whatever issues there are? It is foolish for the city to take over LMUD without a plan for what they will do with it.”

He questioned how Lakeway would provide water and wastewater service to all residents using only LMUD’s infrastructure, which does not connect to several sections of the city. Several other districts service about half of Lakeway.

“I think the city wants to take the money and assets from LMUD and redistribute them to the rest of the city without compensating us,” Hietpas said. “LMUD owns an 80-acre tract in the heart of Lakeway, another 60 [acres] along (RM) 620 at Stewart Road. Both are a developer’s dream. LMUD has about $5 million. It has great modern water and sewer facilities. Follow the money.”

Board members tabled the item to their Feb. 13 meeting.

Lakeway Mayor Dave DeOme denied any takeover attempt by the city.

“My position is that the city is not any way spending money to take over the MUD,” DeOme said later that day. “Karl Ansbach and I have talked about this, and we both agree that trying to take it over, and trying to fight it doesn’t make any sense for the people of Lakeway. It’s just not happening – period!”

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