City leaders in Kyle were hopeful that Senate Bill 1612 by state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, would allow the city to provide water service within Monarch Utilities' service area, but the bill failed to pass by May 27, the end of the Legislature's session, so the two entities will coexist for now.

Kyle Assistant City Manager James Earp said the bill's defeat does not change the city's course.

"We'll continue forward with the process that's already in place," Earp said. "[SB 1612] was a fast track to help the process be streamlined."

Monarch, an investor-owned utility, has been granted a monopoly by the state to provide water and wastewater services to residents of Kyle and Buda. Some residents have complained of discoloration and sediment in their water, and city leaders claim the utility's presence in the city has stymied growth.

Those complaints, Profilet counters, have been declining. In 2012, the company received 13 complaints from the 2000 customers served by the Plum Creek Water System.

"They're talking about a period of time where the entire state had very little growth. Now that we see the state coming out of the recession, we have had new connections along I-35. The water system is growing and I know there is a lot of growth [in Kyle]."

The company has added 159 new connections as well as a 396-unit apartment complex to the system since mid-2011.

SB 1612 would have allowed the city to compete within the area certificated to Monarch.

Decertification is still an option, Earp said, but the process that is currently in place requires more administrative review. A property owner with more than 25 acres can still request decertification from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The request will then go before the commission for review.

Residents of Amberwood and Indian Paintbrush, two Kyle subdivisions served by Monarch, will continue to receive service from the investor-owned utility. There are a few plats greater than 25 acres in size that have not been subdivided, and these properties could still be eligible for decertification, but Earp does not expect that to happen anytime soon.

"I suspect whenever [those property owners] get ready to develop, that's when the conversation would start," Earp said.

The Windy Hill Municipal Utility District, a community in North Kyle, is the only entity that has decertified from Monarch, Earp said.

"We would have liked to have seen [SB 1612] get passed to benefit our citizens, but we need to thank Zaffirini for really taking the point on that issue and carrying it forward for us," he said.

From the 83rd Texas Legislature

Several new laws were discussed in the 83rd Legislative Session that affect San Marcos, Buda and Kyle. Keep up with them over the next week, as we provide updates on a few of the bills that did and did not make it through the legislature.

June 17: Buda mayor praises new black hydrant law

June 19: Texas universities seek construction funds

June 21: Proposed amendment would quench state's water needs

June 24: SB 1621 would allow the City of Kyle to compete with Monarch Utilities within the utility's service area.