Water board in dark on proposed bond sale
by Gary Kent
Mar 14, 2013 | 1723 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE — One member of the Beeville Water Supply District said this week that an intended bond sale by the City of Beeville could jeopardize any future improvements to the George P. Morrill I Water Treatment Plant at Swinney Switch or improvements to the city’s water distribution system.

Jim Crumrine, BWSD Board President, said his concern is that of a city resident and a member of the water district board.

The bonds would finance the construction of a reversed osmosis plant and a well at the city’s Cleveland Street Water Storage facility.

Some of the funds would also be used for upgrades at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

Crumrine said no one ever discussed the bond issue with any members of the water board.

“I’m extremely concerned about the lack of consultation from either the City Council or the administration,” the board president said.

Crumrine said the timing and the size of the proposed $15.3 million bond issue could make it impossible to get city property owners to approve any bond sales needed by the district.

“We need multiple millions of dollars of our own to do what we need to do,” Crumrine said.

“I wish the City Council well but I’m concerned about the impact on taxpayers.

The bond issue would cost taxpayers who own a $75,000 home more than $17 a month in additional taxes.

Crumrine said the water board has already identified a number of projects that need to be funded at the treatment plant.

Those projects could cost the water district anywhere from $3 million to $8 million.

“We need additional storage here in town,” Crumrine said. Water that leaves the treatment plant at 2:30 in the afternoon is used by city residents within nine hours.

“We have about 12 hours of usable storage at normal usage,” Crumrine said. But when the demand is high, water in the city’s storage tanks could be gone in as little as eight hours.

“And this is not being addressed with this bond issue,” Crumrine said.

Voters will decide the fate of the bond during the May election.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.
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