AUSTIN (KXAN) — Exactly one year on the job, City Manager Spencer Cronk has had a tough year with two major water problems and flooding to deal with.
Cronk oversees various city departments including Austin Water. After the boil water notice in October, the latest water problem has left some Austinites plugging their noses. A zebra mussel infestation in the raw water piping has led to a fishy smell and taste in the water for the past six days.
“It’s (zebra mussel infestation) not unique to Austin. This is the situation around the country,” Cronk said. “I came from Minnesota and zebra mussels were an incredibly invasive situation and we have to deal with them proactively.”
The city is working with other water utility programs across the country to learn best practices in dealing with zebra mussel infestations — a newer problem for Austin, Cronk told KXAN. “There are people in scuba gear going down and scrubbing our pipes on a regular basis,” he said.
In the year that Cronk has been on the job, he said he was most proud of getting to know the Austin community and building unique partnerships and relationships. “I walked into a situation where there were a lot of things that needed to be addressed,” he said.
Cronk said the biggest issue he hoped to focus on moving forward was traffic. “As you know, we all have issues with how we get around from point A to point B,” he said. “But I do think there is significant momentum both from our elected officials and from the community on tackling our mobility issues full throttle.”
Watch the full interview with Spencer Cronk above.