The Carey City Council took over a $520,000 line of credit three weeks ago posted by Waterford Park subdivision developer Charlie Holt to finish building a municipal well.
Holt agreed to build the well several years ago as part of a development agreement with the city. A performance bond was posted to ensure that it was completed.
Though the development failed to build out, the bank had collateral on the bond and has given the city of Carey $520,000 to move forward with the well, which will be built on the subdivision and tie into the city's water system.
"We have the cash in hand," Mayor Randy Patterson said Monday.
The 66-lot Waterford Park subdivision was developed out of agricultural land adjacent to the Carey School in 2007, when the housing boom was nearing its peak. Though streets and a playground were built, the development has only four completed homes.
"During that time there were all kinds of development pressures here," said Patterson. "With the economy now in the toilet, I feel bad for the people who have put money into this."
Patterson said the line of credit had to be called to develop the well by June 2011 or the city would lose a water right.
"That is our main concern, so we can keep the water right," Patterson said. "The well would give us enough water for build-out of all property currently in our city limits."
With 150 lots for sale in Carey, a town with a total population of 538, the real estate development boom has definitely gone bust.
"Let's put it this way—our planning and zoning administrator is a little lonely these days," Patterson said.
He said a special City Council meeting will be announced soon to sign a services contract to build the well. Construction is expected to begin this fall.
The well will be the third in Carey's water-supply system.
Tony Evans: firstname.lastname@example.org