WaterBridge funds to be allocated

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The city council heard a presentation from City Water Attorney Mark Harral regarding the development of a three-year Capital Improvement Plan for the WaterBridge, LLC monies during their meeting on Tuesday.

Harral began by saying they had looked at what the city of San Angelo had done in this respect, and found that they created a plan similar to the one being proposed; the aforementioned plan was successful in that area. He stated that with this plan, major expenses would be outlined and adopted, and with that document, each new future member of the city council could remain consistent.

Harral stated the first thing everyone wanted was to make sure water rates do not increase; he said a total of around $350,000 would be needed to offset the increase annually.

Another major factor in contemplating where WaterBridge money would go were the immediate water infrastructure fixes needed at the secondary Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant and in Belding. Harral stated that better monitoring of aquifers in that area could be beneficial.

Two other big ticket items Harral discussed were that of the city landfill issue and the increase of waste water production at the Lionel Unit. A long-term landfill strategy could cost the city up to $1 million, and a diversion plant could cost $150,000. Harral stated the water use in the Lionel Unit has increased by 55 percent, and the plant is not permitted to deal with such a high volume of waste water.

Manhole infrastructure repairs and improvements needed by the city would cost about $5 million, according to Harral. He also cited a need for city help regarding Coyanosa and the county, saying he was made aware that the small town could potentially need water sent in the future.

After hearing the presentation, council member Ruben Falcon asked if the money from WaterBridge could simply be placed into the city’s general fund for a year or so. Harral stated the money could potentially go wherever the council saw fit, and that they would have the final say in all purchases with the funds.

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