City OKs measure to acquire utility easements for water
10 Jun 2023
City of Seguin
Dalondo Moultrie The Seguin Gazette
Seguin is moving forward with infrastructure improvements for customers present and future affected by the city’s takeover of water service to Springs Hill Water Corporation territory.
City Council recently approved via unanimous vote a resolution giving City Manager Steve Parker responsibility of negotiating acquisition of utility easements and rights of entry for land to move water where it’s needed, Parker said.
“We’re trying to do this as quickly as possible because we know developers are trying to get things done,” he said.
The city is in the late stages of a deal to buy nearly 9,500 acres of Springs Hill’s service area to alleviate the strain the water provider is experiencing as growth expands water needs in the region, Parker said. So City Council’s unanimous vote will allow him to talk with landowners for places to install piping to move water to the area, he said.
The resolution calls for the city to spend no more than $10 million on easements for 70 identified project properties.
Council also put in the resolution authorization for Parker to use eminent domain for the easements and rights of entry, but he doesn’t think that will be necessary.
“So far all of the landowners have been very participatory,” Parker said. “This helps increase the value of their land because they have access to water.”
Seguin uses eminent domain acquisition sparingly, the city manager said. In the last 15 years, the city has done it maybe three times, Parker said.
If eminent domain is needed, he said City Council would have to make that decision.
“This project is going to require us to acquire access,” Parker said. “Most developers are going to work with us because they want the water coming to their sites, but if there are any landowners that don’t want that, then the city can go through eminent domain. That is a step that would have to go back to council.”