Fulshear City Council OKs new rates for irrigation meters

Fulshear City Council discusses water rates. (Nola Z. Valente/Community Impact Newspaper)
Fulshear City Council discusses water rates. (Nola Z. Valente/Community Impact Newspaper)

Fulshear City Council discusses water rates. (Nola Z. Valente/Community Impact Newspaper)

Fulshear City Council voted to amend an ordinance after hearing several resident concerns about the water rates in the city at its Jan. 21 meeting.

The amendment will have irrigation meter users billed $0 if consumption is shown to be less than 1,000 gallons by the meter readings.

"City Council approved new water rates based on false information," resident Jocelyn Ryan said at the Jan. 21 meeting. "City Council should revisit the voted-upon ordinance to ensure they were actually lowering residents high water rates, as intended."

Before this amendment, council passed new water rates in October to allow Fulshear to decrease the base rate on both the water and the wastewater by $7.50 each, decreasing rates from $13 to $5.50 for a usage of 0-5,000 gallons, according to city documents. The residential irrigation water rates were set at $0 for zero consumption and $6 for a usage of 1-1,000 gallons, charging an additional $1.75 for each additional thousand gallons, but the new ordinance changed the irrigation meter base rate to $5.50, according to city documents.

Water meters exclusively meter water used for outdoor watering and irrigation, which refers to the supply of water to land or crops to help growth usually through channels.


Residents typically install irrigation meters to save money, Fulshear City Manager Jack Harper said. Irrigation meters are not connected to the sewer, allowing residents to irrigate without skyrocketing their sewer fees.

"I put in my irrigation meter to conserve water," Fulshear resident CJ McDaniel said at the Jan. 21 council meeting. "I put it in to save money ... but if you're going to charge me $5.50 for water I'm not using, I'm going to pump 5,000 gallons out on the ground because I'm paying for it. ... I encourage you to look at this as a consumption-based program, and charge for what people use."

A total of three residents spoke during citizens' comments to address their concerns over the water rates in the city.

Resident Jeniffer Hickman said she had an irrigation meter installed for $605, expecting to save money, but she said she has yet to make up for what she paid for the installment.

"This $5.50 that the city or whoever wants to charge for the zero usage is just more added on to [the cost to install the irrigation meter] if we are not using it,” Hickman said. “It's $5.50 for the irrigation meter and then $5.50 for residential, where we're already paying a base rate. So we are really paying an $11 base rate for water whereas all the other households [without irrigation meters] are paying $5.50."

Mayor Aaron Groff addressed citizen comments before beginning the discussion eventually leading to the amendment.

"We're elected officials to represent the people, and we are also elected officials charged with doing what is best for the city," Groff said. "The majority of the time, I believe those things line up exactly, but unfortunately in this case, they may be juxtaposed."
By Nola Valente
A native Texan, Nola serves as reporter for the Katy edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She studied print journalism at the University of Houston and French at the University of Paris-Sorbonne in France. Nola was previously a foreign correspondent in Jerusalem, Israel covering Middle East news through an internship with an American news outlet.


MOST RECENT

Harris County Commissioners Court's revised redistricting map as of Aug. 31. (Screenshot courtesy Harris County Commissioners Court)
Harris County Commissioners Court to take public comments on redistricting Oct. 21

The meeting will be held at the Harris County Commissioners Court, located at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston, at 4 p.m.

If you are looking for somewhere new to eat, check out one of these new restaurants in Katy, as well as several coming soon.  (Courtesy The Halal Guys)
ROUNDUP: 8 new restaurants now open or coming soon to Katy

If you are looking for somewhere new to eat, check out one of these new restaurants in Katy, as well as several coming soon.

Pushin Watts, a boutique cycling apparel and accessories shop, is now open at Grand Lakes Shopping Center. (Courtesy Pexels)
Pushin Watts opens Katy location

The store, owned by Rodric Allen, had its grand opening Oct. 11.

The new H-E-B store is located on Ronald Reagan Boulevard in north Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: New H-E-B in Leander opening soon; Texas Supreme Court grants rehearing for high-speed rail eminent domain case and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 18.

Texas Medical Center: Coronavirus patient numbers drop 25% in one week, dip below 800

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Texas Medical Center institutions has continued its decline.

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
MAP: Check out the 5 latest commercial projects filed in Katy, including a renovated Aerie

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy.

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Community Impact Newspaper interviewed Dr. Twisha Verma on the importance of routine checkups. (Photo Courtesy Houston Methodist Breast Care Center at Clear Lake)
Q&A: Health care expert speaks about the importance of mammograms

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Community Impact Newspaper interviewed Dr. Twisha Verma on the importance of routine checkups.

According to the release, the restaurant aims to give customers “the complete Louisiana experience,” and some of the recipes on the menu come from Payavla’s great-grandmother. (Courtesy of Becca Wright)
Orleans Seafood Kitchen to open second location in Fulshear

More than a decade after opening the flagship Orleans Seafood Kitchen location in the Garden at Westgreens center near Katy Freeway, the restaurant will be expanding into Fulshear.

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
Check out the 5 latest commercial projects filed in Katy, including a new Cheesecake Factory

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy.

A conceptual rendering shows what a high-speed rail station in Dallas could look like. A final design on the station has not yet been released. (Courtesy Texas Central)
Reversing course, Texas Supreme Court grants rehearing for high-speed rail eminent domain case

In the Oct. 15 order granting a rehearing, the Supreme Court set a date of Jan. 11 to hear oral arguments.

The amended version of the planned development unit will now go to the Austin Planning Commission for review. (Rendering courtesy Austin Environmental Commission)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Austin commission OKs development plan near Lady Bird Lake; shopping center coming to Porter and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 15.

Through most of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of apartments were offering some kind of concession as a way to entice renters. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Rising apartment rent continues to be trend in Houston region

​​​​​​​According to data from ApartmentData.com, Houston has seen an average 12.8% rental rate growth in the past year.