AUSTIN, TX – City officials gathered on Feb. 8 to commemorate the naming of the Berl L. Handcox, Sr. Water Treatment Plant, formerly known as Water Treatment Plant 4.
The Austin City Council voted unanimously on May 24, 2018, to name the facility after Handcox who served as an Austin City Council Member from 1971 through 1975 and was the first African American Council Member elected under the Manager-Council form of government.
The resolution sponsored by Council Member Flannigan noted that "Council Member Handcox was well known for initiating the Community Improvement Program to enhance deteriorating areas of East Austin and eventually all of Austin, as well as the "Handcox Paving Policy" which curbed, guttered and paved roads throughout the entire city."
Handcox also championed the passage of an equal employment opportunity plan for the City of Austin. He was quoted in the Austin American-Statesman on June 20, 1974, saying, "equal opportunity for all citizens is still not a fact as evidenced by surveys which indicate that women and minorities have not received equal opportunity under the law in city employment."
"We are proud to name this Water Treatment Plant after Berl L. Handcox, Sr. His dedication to improving the living and working conditions for Austin’s African American community is an important legacy to honor." – Mayor Steve Adler
"It’s an honor to serve the part of our city that Council Member Handcox has called home for over 40 years. His dedication to community infrastructure improvement marked his years of diligent service on the Austin City Council. What a joy it is to honor his legacy with a significant piece of Austin infrastructure that will now bear his name." – Council Member Jimmy Flannigan.
About the Berl L. Handcox, Sr. Water Treatment Plant
The Berl L. Handcox, Sr. Water Treatment Plant draws water from Lake Travis and provides treated drinking water to Austin Water customers. It began operation in 2014 following years of planning and five years of construction. The plant is capable of treating 50 million gallons per day and has room to expand to 300 million gallons per day.
About Austin Water
Austin Water provides safe, reliable, high quality, sustainable and affordable water services that have met the community’s needs for over 100 years. Austin Water services over 1 million people in the Austin metropolitan area across more than 548 square miles.