Fort Stockton Water Fight Goes On

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

FORT STOCKTON - The battle over water in Pecos County is not over yet.

On Tuesday evening, the Fort Stockton City Council held a special meeting to decide whether or not to continue fighting a permit being sought by Fort Stockton Holdings to pump water out of their area.

After discussing the issue in a closed session, council members decided to postpone it once again after they were handed a newer agreement from Clayton Williams' company, Fort Stockton Holdings and a formal proposal from the county.

Just when you thought the fight was almost over.

"We did receive an updated and improved offer from Fort Stockton Holdings and we also did receive formal written proposal from the county," Fort Stockton Mayor, Ruben Falcon, said.

Falcon said the council got both of those proposals hours before the scheduled special meeting which didn't give them enough time to make a decision.

"You can't rush into these things," he said. "I know people want us to do something and they expect us to do something, but at the same time when the decision is made, we have to make sure it's the right decision."

At the last water meeting, County Judge Joe Shuster wanted better communication between the city and county over this issue and he feels he got that at Tuesday's meeting.

"It's a slow process and I think they better understand how we feel and what we feel," Judge Shuster said. "I feel confident that somewhere in the next few days they will come up with a decision that's in our favor but there's no guarantee to that."

Mayor Falcon said he's very aware of how the public feels but the council has to weigh all their options.

"The popular decision would be to automatically reject Fort Stockton Holdings agreement, but at the same time you have to look at it not as a popularity contest and ask what is the best long term decision for the protection of our water," he said.

He said it's been a long journey since day one of this fight but Judge Shuster hopes the city can reach a decision in their favor.

"You've got water that's here for centuries and hopefully it will stay here for more centuries to come," he said.

"This is all about protecting the future water supply to our community and that's what our council and everybody involved is trying to do," Mayor Falcon said.

The mayor wouldn't go into detail about what the updated agreement included citing legal concerns for the city but he did say the council is hoping to come to a decision sometime next week.