LAKEWAY, Texas—Seventy-six percent of people living in and around the Lakeway Municipal Utility District (MUD) believe the district should remain an independent, nonprofit water and wastewater service provider as long as it keeps meeting customers’ needs, according to results of a new survey.
In fact, 86 percent of the people surveyed believe that the City of Lakeway’s proposed takeover of Lakeway MUD is undemocratic and that the MUD’s customers should have a say in the matter through a local election.
Sixty-nine percent of the survey respondents are concerned about the Lakeway City Council’s pursuit of a state law authorizing a takeover of Lakeway MUD. Meanwhile, 74 percent question why the City of Lakeway’s takeover proposal applies only to Lakeway MUD and does not include the five other water systems within the city limits.
On March 12, legislation (Senate Bill 2023) was introduced that would allow the City of Lakeway to dissolve the nonprofit Lakeway MUD and assume its customers and operations. The Lakeway City Council voted Feb. 17 to pursue the takeover legislation. On Feb. 20, Lakeway MUD’s Board of Directors voted to oppose the City of Lakeway’s potential takeover of the MUD.
In the survey, 58 percent of Lakeway MUD residents said they believe the possible takeover of Lakeway MUD is another example of government being unable to “leave well enough alone.” And 76 percent of those surveyed fear the City of Lakeway would raise water rates if the takeover occurs.
According to the survey, 81 percent of people living in the Lakeway MUD area—Lakeway MUD customers and non-customers—rate their water and wastewater service as “excellent” or “good.”
“The results of this survey clearly demonstrate that people who live in or near Lakeway MUD are very satisfied with their current water and wastewater service and that they do not want the City of Lakeway to take over Lakeway MUD,” Tom Rogers, president of Lakeway MUD’s Board of Directors, said. “We will use the findings of this survey to help offer an even higher level of customer service and to support Lakeway MUD’s belief that the district should remain independent.”
The telephone survey, commissioned by Lakeway MUD, was conducted March 9-11 among 206 randomly selected adults who live in and around Lakeway MUD. The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 6.8 percentage points.
“The survey, done by a respected surveying firm, was meant to measure people’s emotions about Lakeway MUD and the proposed takeover. Therefore, some of the questions were intentionally provocative,” Rogers said. “We set out to test the strength of people’s convictions about Lakeway MUD, and it’s obvious that people in the MUD strongly support Lakeway MUD and its continued independence.”