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Hudson Oaks

Oncor introduces new substation 

Council approves changes to commercial sewer rate calculation


A new way to calculate commercial sewer rates in Hudson Oaks could net the city an approximate 7 percent increase in revenue after those changes were approved at the Jan. 24 city council meeting. 

The change in the ordinance does not affect residential customers.

Hayden Brodowsky, Hudson Oaks Director of Operations, said the city uses a winter averaging method to calculate sewer rates for the year. That means usage in November, December and January determines what is billed for the remainder of the year. That works well for residential customers. However, commercial customers often have two water meters – one for domestic and one for irrigation – which Brodowsky said reduces the need for winter averages. 

“When the rates were last amended in 2008, the commercial landscape was much different than it is today,” Brodowsky told council members. 

Currently, a business that thrives in the winter months could actually be penalized in the summer and vice versa by using the winter averaging and the city essentially pays the difference.

Citing numbers and examples of several actual businesses in Hudson Oaks without using their names, Brodowsky showed the difference in what the current bill is and what it would look like when the new rate is calculated. 

“In most instances, many customers will see a decrease in their annual billing,” he added, explaining that conversations with the local businesses have been ongoing and most see the rate change as positive.

“It has created instances where the businesses even evaluated what they were doing and found ways to conserve and use water more efficiently.”

Mayor Tom Fitzpatrick asked if the evaluation of the rate calculation had anything to do with recent rate changes by the City of Weatherford. Brodowsky said it did not and that the “big deal” of the rate change is the approximate 7 percent increase in revenue from the prior fiscal year the city will receive.

Council unanimously approved the item. 

Energy substation

Also at the meeting, Oncor Area Manager Michael Dimas provided members with an update on a new energy substation – called Bell Mountain - that is expected to be online by May. Once it’s switched on, it will alleviate the load on current substations and provide 85 percent of the energy needed to area residents. 

“This will improve power quality by a lot,” Dimas said. “It will also help in inclement weather and allow us to get residents back up and running faster.” 

Fitzpatrick noted that he was pleased that the recent cold snap and wind event did not affect local power. Dimas agreed and added that unless a pole is knocked down or something of that nature, crews may not have to be dispatched to get residents back online should an outage happen. 

Also at the meeting:

  • Council approved an extension of an agreement with Aledo ISD to operate their Wastewater Treatment Plant at Annetta Elementary School at a reduced cost of $5,000 per month. 
  • City Administrator Sterling Naron gave the financial report for the past three months since Council had not met since October. He said everything was on track in the first quarter.
  • Council approved amendments to land-use definitions regarding day care centers and adult and nursery schools. 

Hudson Oaks City Council will meet next at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22. 


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