Newly Proposed Water Rate Could Affect Hundreds in North Pottsbo - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Newly Proposed Water Rate Could Affect Hundreds in North Pottsboro

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NORTH POTTSBORO, TX -- A newly proposed water rate, could soon make hundreds of people living in north Pottsboro, pay close to 40% more for their water. 

Board members with the Red River Authority of Texas are set to vote on the proposal next week.

If passed, the new rate will affect about 700 households in the Preston Shores Drive area.

A recent notice from their water company has people living near Preston Shores Dr. in Pottsboro worried about their water bills.

"It just keeps getting kind of higher and higher," said Toni Warfel, who’s lived in the neighborhood for the last 15 years.

"Here we go again, another cost that they're putting on us," said longtime resident, Kenneth Poeck.

This is the second time in less than three years the Red River Authority of Texas has proposed a rate increase.

"I was mad, very mad; in fact, I think I tore the letter up," said Warfel.

"I shouldn't have to charge them more, so they shouldn't have to charge me more for what they should have furnished for us all these years," said Poeck.

Back in 2013, the company says it was to combat drought problems, this time it's to make required improvements.

"We were looking at probably doing a capital improvements project in a couple of years, but the EPA and the TCQ have come down this year with orders that we need to bring some systems into compliance and are forcing us to speed up," said Curtis Campbell, General Manager of Red River Authority of Texas.

Accelerating the need to finance a major bond issue, to go towards paying for the upgrades.

"This rate increase is being put in place to cover those costs," said Campbell.

Costs that include replacing outdated water equipment that the company hopes will help lower the levels of trihalomethanes, a byproduct produced, when water is disinfected, and can be considered carcinogenic.

All issues, longtime residents say they've dealt with in various ways.

"We have multiple filters around our house," said Poeck.

"I buy bottled water because I can't drink this water, it smells, and it tastes funny," said Warfel.

If the proposal passes, the water and sewage systems rate will be combined to a single rate within the utility division.

Increasing the monthly minimum, from $53 to $73.50 for every 2,000 gallons.

"This is not something myself or the board wants to do, this is something we're being forced to do, our hands are tied," said Campbell.

Even so, it's a hike many say they're not looking forward to paying.

"It’s going to be different and rough," said Wafel.

"I don't like it a bit, it's not right," said Poeck.

Company officials tell us, they've searched for other financing options for the last three years, including grants but have been unsuccessful. 

The Red River Authority of Texas will hold a public hearing in Wichita Falls on September 21st at 1:30 p.m. to take action on the proposed rate increase.

If you're not able to attend, you can call or write to them to voice your concerns.

For more information, click here.