SAWS bills could rise less than planned for Vista Ridge due to developer fees

SAWS bills could rise less than planned for Vista Ridge due to developer fees

San Antonio Water System officials say they are planning on seeking a lower rate increase in 2020 than the nearly 10 percent originally approved by City Council to pay for the Vista Ridge pipeline project, though they have not said how much lower. Gavino Ramos, SAWS’ vice president of communications and external affairs, made the statement about a smaller rate hike in 2020 in response to questions from the Rivard Report following a key vote by SAWS’ Capital Improvements Advisory Committee, which recommends…

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Canadian utility company EPCOR tapped to operate SAWS’ Vista Ridge Pipeline

Canadian utility company EPCOR tapped to operate SAWS’ Vista Ridge Pipeline

A utility owned by the Canadian city of Edmonton has been chosen to operate the San Antonio Water System’s Vista Ridge pipeline, creating a business relationship that will last at least 30 years. SAWS’ board of trustees on Tuesday passed a resolution consenting to EPCOR Services, a division of EPCOR Utilities, as the operating service provider for Vista Ridge. Stretching from Burleson County to San Antonio, the 142-mile water pipeline that can deliver up to 16.3 billion gallons per year…

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SAWS says bid dispute won’t stop flow of Vista Ridge water

SAWS says bid dispute won’t stop flow of Vista Ridge water

On a former ranch property near an elementary school in Stone Oak, the largest water tank ever built by the San Antonio Water System is under construction. The tank is approximately 81 feet tall and big enough to hold 10 million gallons, according to SAWS Vice President of Engineering and Construction Andrea Beymer. That’s enough to fill 15 Olympic-sized swimming pools. “This is where they’ll hand off water from one water system to another water system,” said Lilliana Gonzalez, a…

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SAWS closes on financial deal for Vista Ridge pipeline project

SAWS closes on financial deal for Vista Ridge pipeline project

  • November 3, 2016
  • News

The San Antonio Water System announced Thursday that the city-owned water system has closed the financial portion of the Vista Ridge Pipeline Project. With the financial closure construction is set to begin in February. Garney Construction is the lead builder of the pipeline, which will deliver water to San Antonio from Burleson County. Construction is expected to wrap up in 2020. Garney will own the pipeline for the first 30 years with SAWS taking over ownership for another three decades…

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The Source: Garney Failure Could Mean SAWS Takeover Of Vista Ridge Project

In a turn-about San Antonio Water System CEO Robert Puente said the water utility would take over the construction of the Vista Ridge Water Pipeline if Garney was unable to meet certain deadlines. In May, after the Spanish conglomerate Abengoa went bankrupt, the Kansas City-based firm Garney Construction took over the building of the 142-mile water pipeline known as Vista Ridge. The $3 billion project calls for water to start flowing from Burleson County by the year 2020. Speaking on…

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Bankruptcy sheds more light on Abengoa’s Vista Ridge dealings

Bankruptcy sheds more light on Abengoa’s Vista Ridge dealings

Spanish conglomerate Abengoa routed nearly $119 million in borrowed funds for the Vista Ridge pipeline project through a nonprofit water supply corporation, according to bankruptcy court filings. Exactly why that money was funneled through the nonprofit Central Texas Regional Water Supply Corp. is unclear. State law gives a nonprofit water supply corporation eminent domain authority, which could come in handy in building the controversial pipeline, which the San Antonio Water System hopes will provide the city with 20 percent of…

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Study foretold Abengoa woes

Calvin Finch hates to say, “I told you so.” But he feels he should anyway. “Yeah,” Finch said, “and I’m disappointed that I can.” This week, the San Antonio Water System’s board of trustees voted to allow a Kansas City firm to take over the utility’s largest-ever pipeline project, a dramatic turn of events linked to the financial troubles of a firm first enlisted to build the 142-mile pipeline. Last year — months before Abengoa SA, a Spanish firm, fell…

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Editorial: Flawed Vista Ridge project doesn’t make sense

In February 2014, San Antonio Water System CEO Robert Puente informed us that SAWS would not pursue the Abengoa Vista Ridge water supply project, or AVR, because the project was too risky. He was quoted as saying: “Groundwater law in Texas leaves too much uncertainty and risk for the private and public sectors.” Instead, SAWS recommended the phased-in expansion of their brackish groundwater desalination to provide additional supply. Within days, SAWS backtracked, announcing it would work with Abengoa to find…

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Repaying loan may affect SAWS’ pipeline deal

The San Antonio Water System’s Vista Ridge pipeline project is still moving ahead, despite concerns over a $120 million loan, litigation between water suppliers and a challenge to rate increases from customers outside the city limits. Garney Construction, a company interested in purchasing a controlling share in the 142-mile pipeline project, spent part of this week in New York City negotiating with a group of international banks, SAWS President and CEO Robert Puente said. Garney, based in Kansas City, is…

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SAWS: Banks Not Cooperating On Renegotiating Vista Ridge Loan

By mid-week the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) expects to know whether it will be able to easily move ownership of the Vista Ridge pipeline to a different company. Because of financial problems current owner Abengoa has agreed to sell 80-percent of the water project to Garney Construction, but an outstanding loan complicates matters, and has forced SAWS to consider other options. As the contract manager for the 142-mile pipeline, Abengoa Vista Ridge took out a $120 million loan to…

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