Proposed City of Austin Annexation Update

Lost Creek homeowners and residents were notified in January that Lost Creek has been placed on the City of Austin’s annexation plan with an effective date of December 31, 2008. That started a process that continues on several fronts.

The Lost Creek Municipal Utility District submitted our Report on Infrastructure, Facilities, and Services to the City of Austin on April 15. That document detailed the services currently provided by the District to residents of Lost Creek and the level of service we expect to continue after annexation. It also summarized services provided by the Westlake Fire Department (Travis ESD #9) and Travis County. The report includes a comparison of costs for the services presently provided to Lost Creek residents before and after annexation.

The District estimates that, at current rates, annexation would cost the average Lost Creek household $1646 per year. $800 of that results from increased property taxes and the remainder from increased fees for City services that are currently provided at lower cost by the District (see the "Tax and Fees Comparison Chart"). The city staff has acknowledged the quality of services will not improve after annexation.

A follow up to the service report, due in late June, will compare costs and service levels in comparable parts of the City to Lost Creek.

Meanwhile, the District and City are still negotiating the details of two important agreements: (1) extension of the wholesale water purchase agreement which expires in July 2007 and (2) a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) which could delay annexation beyond the 2008 target date.

Next Steps:

The City must publish an inventory of the Services they intend to provide to Lost Creek by June 12. We already know that some of the services presently provided by the District, like Deed Restriction Enforcement, will not be continued by the City after annexation.

The City has advised the District they intend to hold the public hearings on Lost Creek annexation, required by Texas statutes, in late July or early August. They must also publish a Preliminary Service Plan no later than the date of the first hearing.

The District Annexation Committee will be looking closely at that plan to see how the City actually intends to provide the services they’ve promised and, particularly, how they will satisfy their contractual obligation to provide City wastewater service to Lost Creek before annexation. The dates and locations of hearings will be communicated to all residents and homeowners and as soon as they are known along with updated comparisons of service levels and costs. At least one of the Public Hearings will be requested to be held near Lost Creek. Residents are encouraged to attend and voice their opinions on annexation to the Austin City Council.

Additional information and updates on annexation process can be found at the District website, www.lostcreekmud.org, by attending Board meetings, or by contacting a member of the District Annexation Committee:

Rick Cherye... Board President
Nancy Naeve... Board Secretary
Jack Bowen...General Manager
John Vay...Resident & Former MUD Board Director

posted: Friday, June 02, 2006