Big Spring Voters to Choose How To Fix Water Plants

By Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - Big Spring voters have a tough decision to make on Saturday, how to pay for a improvements to their water and wastewater treatment plant. It's been a battle from the beginning. Residents in Big Spring know that their water plants need fixing no matter what.

"First of all, the water is not drinkable," Big Spring Resident, Denis Bow, said.

"I only use it for washing clothes, bathing, watering yards and that's it," Big Spring Resident, Rosemary Bustamante, said.

The only problem is who is going to pay for these upgrades? This debate started last year after the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality gave the city of Big Spring several citations for their water treatment plants. None of these were serious violations but they do need to be fixed.

"We are needing to do some upgrades on the plants, not only to address the violations but also aging infrastructure," Assistant City Manager, Todd Darden, said.

It will cost around $13 million to fix these plants and City Council voted on an option for residents to choose how they will renovate the plants. Voters will decide if they want the 4B project.

With this project, they will take money from the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation and use it to pay for the renovations. For the first two years, the EDC will be shelling out over $700,000. After that, they will take about 40 percent of their budget for the next 20 years or until they pay the 13 million dollars.

"The voters will get a chance to say whether or not they want that option this weekend. If it passes or it doesn't pass, it will go to the next recommended way that the Council chooses," Darden said.

Big Spring residents had mixed reactions on this issue.

"I'm for this project because we really need a water plant replacement," Big Spring Resident, Mary Bustamante, said.

"It's a bad idea I think," Big Spring Resident, Jessy Saucedo, said. "If we had better water supply and use that money for that, then build up the rest of the money to bring businesses," Big Spring Resident, Rosemary West, said.

But no matter what voters decide, the city will have to find a way to pay for this.

"However the vote turns out, the project still must go forward," Darden said.

On Saturday, voters will get a chance to voice their opinion.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.