Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Water to be among a Texas mayor's top priorities this year

Kathleen Thurber in the Midland Reporter-Telegram (Texas): Creating a plan for Midland's future water source will be among the top priorities as Mayor Wes Perry begins his new term this year. Having been sworn in Monday morning, Perry said during a special session of the city council later in the day that creating a water plan for Midland by working in conjunction with other cities is something that needs to be accomplished.

….San Angelo has purchased a new aquifer system and Abilene is building a new lake, Perry said. The question for Midland is what it will do with the T-Bar Ranch property it owns. Assistant Director of Utilities Jill Reed said it's estimated the cost of getting water from T-Bar ranch, which was purchased in the 1950s, to Midland would be more than $100 million.

However, Perry said, what Midland would have to spend is less than other cities are spending and would create a source for future needs. "Having a water supply that is owned by the city is incredibly valuable," he said.

City Manager Courtney Sharp said by working together, cities in West Texas could create a water plan that has each municipality playing an integral role in providing resources to its citizens. "A lot of cities have individual pieces to the puzzle," Sharp said. "Let's find out what our puzzle piece looks like."

Scott Dufford, at-large councilman, said they've been talking about water being a priority since he and Perry both have been on the council and that he supports the mayor's goal of moving forward. "We better start taking some action, it's time," he said….

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