Howe residents get a break from high water prices - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Howe residents get a break from high water prices

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The City of Howe says adding an alternate water source will reduce utility bills. (KTEN) The City of Howe says adding an alternate water source will reduce utility bills. (KTEN)

HOWE, Texas -- After years of high water prices, the City of Howe is planning a new way to reduce the financial burden on citizens.

The City Council has approved a motion that lets the town of 3,000 use a blend of ground and surface water. 

"Obviously, our goal is to lower those costs," said City Administrator Joe Shephard. "Right now with what we're facing, we do have high water bills -- and nobody will dispute that -- but we're working to reduce those."

Years ago, the cities of Anna, Melissa, Van Alstyne and Howe entered into an agreement to install a pipeline for surface water, but that source hasn't been tapped by Howe since it was established.

"The reason we haven't done it in the past is that it would have cost us more," Shephard explained. "But since all four cities will soon be taking it, it will reduce the percentage that the City of Howe has to pay."

But before the city can take advantage of the alternative water supply, they'll have to spend about $150,000 to update the equipment needed to add the surface water supply to the system.

"It will probably be a little harder, and you'll get a little different taste to it and a different texture, but it will still be ... usable water," Shephard said.

Shephard said integrating the pipeline will save the city around $200,000 a year, but the project will take about 18 months to finish after the funds are appropriated.

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