Hutto City Manager Odis Jones has been given the green light by the City Council to explore purchasing a water system that will get Hutto out of a bad contract, officials said.

Residents and businesses will see a 16 percent increase in sewer rates and a 7 percent jump in water rates on Aug. 1. Jones and the council blame a poor contract with the Heart of Texas Water Suppliers L.P. water system for that increase and several more scheduled to follow. Last week, Mayor Doug Gaul in a letter to residents said the city would look at purchasing the system.

The council gave Jones direction to begin negotiations and the ability to execute an agreement not to exceed $63 million. The decision was unanimous and followed an executive session that broke at 11:22 p.m.

Officials said the city has already under-collected $1 million in water charges from users. The anticipated rate increase will match the rates with the current cost to the city.

A study of utility rates exposed the city’s contract issue, which was shared with the public at the April 6 council meeting.

“Purchasing the system will help stabilize the rates,” Jones said. “It’s the right move to look at this.”

Jones said due diligence is likely to last until October.

“There is a series of steps and negotiations are first in that series,” Jones said. “We need to have a stable system with stable rates.”

Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
 
COMMUNITY CONVERSATION

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Commenting Policy: Community Impact Newspaper welcomes observations and opinions. Comments and discussions should be relevant to the news topics we cover and contain no abusive language. Comments that are libelous, off topic, advertorial, spam, vulgar, profane or include personal or professional attacks will not be allowed. Users who do not follow the stated guidelines will be warned once, and repeat offenders will be banned permanently. Comments made by website users do not represent the opinions of Community Impact Newspaper and have not been checked for accuracy. Community Impact Newspaper reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter’s name or username and location, in any medium. See also Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.