AUSTIN, Texas — AUSTin Golf Course, which had been closed for nearly three decades due to a water and sewer system failure, will be able to reopen with the help of the $2 billion Texas Department of Water Resources, Gov.
Greg Abbott announced Monday.
The project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2021, but the water agency’s decision to allow the project to go ahead has been delayed until at least 2024.
The state-owned facility, with a golf course and a hotel, will also offer a day-use facility, Abbott said.
The announcement comes amid heightened concerns about Texas’s water infrastructure after a series of storms that ravaged the state over the past two months, with the Texas Water Development Board predicting the state could need more than half a billion dollars in repairs to its infrastructure by 2025.
Abbott said in a statement that the state’s water system was still being evaluated by the federal government, which he said is also assessing the damage to the state from climate change and other factors.
“The current level of the water is not safe for recreational use, so we need to ensure we are properly conserving our water resources for recreational uses and are prepared to protect those resources from future storms and other impacts,” Abbott said in the statement.
The decision was applauded by local and state officials, who say that if the new construction is approved, it would help revitalize a community that has struggled to keep its historic water-damaged golf course open for more than a decade.
The new facility will be adjacent to the former Lake Worth Golf Course in north Austin, which opened in 1992.
The water board approved the project after several years of work to improve drainage and other infrastructure.
In the coming months, the agency will determine whether to seek approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow it to begin construction on the new golf resort, which will be located next to the lake and a small reservoir.