Residents Debate Payment Plan for Water Treatment Plants in Big Spring

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - Every Big Spring resident at Tuesday's City Council public hearing agreed on one thing: that they need to fix their water treatment plants.

The city has been cited several times in the past that their water doesn't meet state cleanliness requirements and every resident wants clean water.

"That's a no-brainer. That's something that we have to do," Big Spring Mayor, Tommy Duncan, said. "The only question is how are we going to pay for it?"

To fix it will take 20 years and $11 million.

The city has a plan to make their Economic Development Corporation pay an annual $750,000 for it, otherwise the money will have to come from the people.

"Finding other resources such as possibly increasing water rates or tax rates or reducing some services," Duncan said.

Some residents were in favor of the EDC shelving out.

"To me, it's akin to casino gambling," Big Spring resident, A.J. Weaver, said. "More often than not, I'm concerned with we don't get our bang for our buck through this activity known as economic development."

"Do I want to repair our water and wastewater treatment plants and replace some of the water lines that seem to break every day, at no additional cost to the citizen? My answer is yes." Big Spring Resident, Norma Garcia, said.

Other citizens said they didn't want the EDC's funds being tied up for the next 20 years, possibly losing future businesses.

"20 years is much too long to tie up our arms of economic development," Resident, Larry McLellan, said.

What every public statement had in common is they all just want their water fixed.

"This is water that should be accessible to everybody in the community whether you're income level is a million dollars a year or you're just above the poverty level," Resident, Oscar Garcia, said.

Ultimately, the funding decision comes to a vote on May 12th with early voting beginning April 30th.