CEDAR PARK, Texas - On a winter walk, the grass looks a lot like what it did lastsummer in Cedar Park.
"Yeah, it was awful,” said resident Sarah Osborne.“It was really ugly.”
Osborne didn't like the Stage 2 water restrictions on her lawn.As officials announce the new Schlitterbahn Water Park, set to open in 2012,will buy water from the city, she hoped it wouldn’t lead toanother round of restrictions in future dry spells.
Cedar Park gets its water from the LCRA's Lake Travis, which wasalarmingly low during the drought. The water park, which will benear the intersection of FM 1431 and Parmer Lane, will need 23million gallons a year. Looking at the layout, a riverwalk will bekey in retaining and re-using that amount, as it filters andrecycles every drop.
"So they're really not using that much water on a regularbasis," said Melanie Carr, city spokesperson.
The water park would use about 20 percent of what asingle-family residential development on the same property woulduse and half as much water as what a multi-family development wouldgo through, according to the city. City officials said Cedar Parkwon't even have to adjust its contract with LCRA, because italready pays for enough water to meet the park's needs.
The park will pay the same amount as every other customer butmake a lot more for the city in the long run: a $2.5 to $5 billiondollar impact over 30 years, 3,000 visitors a day, and 1,200 newjobs.
"It's really a great project for our city," said Carr.
The water park will also follow the same restrictions asresidents when it comes to the drought. As much as Osborne wantsgreen grass again, like many residents, she said she’slooking forward to the future economic incentive possibility evenmore.
"I just hope that it brings a lot more business to Cedar Park,and it brings more shopping and restaurants and more families tocome up and live here, because I think it's a great place tolive."
Those incentives only increase when you look at the propertytaxes a new study shows the park could bring in. Williamson Countystands to earn $60 million, and the Leander Independent SchoolDistrict could make $177 million.
The expected winter weather has delayed initial construction work on MoPac until the rain and cold temperatures pass through.
Family and friends held a vigil Wednesday at the State Capitol in hopes that a Bastrop man can win a new trial.
An unusually cold blast of arctic air arriving early this morning will be followed by an increasing chance of freezing drizzle/rain and sleet by Friday morning.
The HealthCare.gov website is working more smoothly for central Texans.
City leaders in West Lake Hills discussed the ongoing concern with the city's water system Wednesday night. The problems arise when water is needed most; fighting fires.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.