It’s been nearly a year since the historic winter storm of February 2021. Our staff members who worked during that event could probably tell you what they were doing every hour of the five days they spent at the town hall, working around the clock to maintain energy. the lifts of our city, stop the emergency interruptions of the water lines and protect the residents of our great city. I am so pleased that we can now reflect on all the changes we have made and will bring to our operations and infrastructure as a result of the lessons we have learned. Any changes will allow us to be better prepared for future events.
Thanks to the support of the city council at the time of the storm, as well as the current city council, an extremely thoughtful and practical approach has been taken to reevaluate our operations to ensure that we can continue to provide the necessary services to our residents, regardless of the situation. . I wrote in last month’s article on the first Global City Plan; which is integral to planning and creating a sustainable path for Rollingwood. We now have the information we need. We just have to move forward in finalizing the plan, securing funding and implementing the necessary projects.
I would like to highlight a major project that is underway with the use of the city’s allocation of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. We are in the process of completing the lifting station automation project, which will allow us to remotely monitor and control lifting stations in our city. Proper operation of these lifting stations is critical to ensuring that wastewater from our city homes and business district is pumped to a central lifting station and then sent to the city of Austin for treatment. Failure or loss of power to these lifting stations could be devastating, as there is a risk of sewage leaking into downstream waterways.
Thankfully, we weathered the February 2021 storm without a single spill; but we never want to be put again in a situation where this is even a remote possibility. The lifting station automation project will make it easier for staff and contractors to check and maintain our seven lifting stations every day, especially in the event of thunderstorms. Together with a second project, the lifting station power generation project, the lifting station automation project will ensure that we are not in such a situation again. The lifting station power generation project includes equipping each of our lifting stations with their own generator so that in the event of a power failure, they are still operational. ARPA funding for these projects will allow us to focus on future bond initiatives and other funding methods to meet a variety of drainage, water and infrastructure needs we have.
I am also excited about a unique opportunity we have for our future municipal building upgrade. We discussed with Fire Chief David Wilson, Travis County Emergency Services District No. 9, also known as the Westlake Fire Department, on the possible location of a satellite emergency services station in Rollingwood. They have identified this as a priority to improve service delivery and, from our point of view, this would be a great benefit and greater safety for our residents. The idea of locating our facilities would allow for shared spaces, greater cooperation and provision of services and savings for taxpayers. It would also help in cases of extreme weather conditions, as a fire truck and staff had to be kept in the city during last year’s storm to ensure faster response times. We look forward to the continuation of this conversation between our community and the Westlake Fire Department.
I have great faith in our municipality and in our community. I believe we will prioritize the necessary infrastructure improvements and I am motivated by the steps we have already taken. If you have any questions or feedback on any city operation, I encourage you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ashley Wayman, interim city administrator, at email@example.com.
Gavin Massingill is the mayor of Rollingwood.