May 25 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

It has been explained deftly by City Manager Megan Antrim that a paramount concern regarding the proposed expansion of the Skyway Gardens affordable housing complex is whether extending our city water system services to the development would worsen water pressure issues for residents who live further south.

“In the absence of a feasibility study,” said Antrim, “It was impossible to predict how the expanded development would impact water service.”

This is a very serious issue. We can’t pursue development without first making sure that said development doesn’t overtax our existing water infrastructure, causing potential catastrophic impact on other city neighborhoods including Sul Ross, the hospital district, AISD, hotels, motels, restaurants, apartments … the longer the list, the more strain on the system.

In addition to water infrastructure, another issue we need to not only keep in mind, but, I suggest, make a part of this and all future development, is the very real need of reducing the “heat island effect.”  You need look no further than stand in the middle of a parking lot or a graveled-over road to feel this radiating heat reflected back at you.

Several studies have found that increased heat increases physical stress, exacerbates pre-existing respiratory, kidney, and other problems.

These studies have also shown that planned parklands, and planted native shade trees and grasses have a huge impact mitigating the “heat island effect.”

Based on this, it would be smart to incorporate into all development proposals a “greening” plan.

I’d also put forward the suggestion that the same reclaimed water the country club uses to water its course be used to also revitalize the dying native trees and vegetation along the creek, and, possibly, other properties like Sul Ross.


Amit Rangra

Alpine, TX