By Wyatt Goolsby
FORT STOCKTON - A big boom in the Permian Basin means growing pains for many West Texas towns. In Fort Stockton, they're looking at a facelift.
From landfills, water, and septic systems, to upgrading the police department, city officials told NewsWest 9 Friday a major capital improvement plan is in the works. Their plan: to expand all kinds of services.
"We're planning on more apartments, on more homes," Fort Stockton Mayor Ruben Falcon said.
There's no question Fort Stockton is growing, but with a housing shortage and not enough space for people moving to town, city officials said a new seven million dollar plan will help them catch up.
"It's a plan of where we see our needs for the city five years down the line, and we based that on five years passed. What is going on right now that we see is going to be very important to the infrastructure of the city," Falcon explained.
That includes work on the cities water and waste systems and hiring more officers at the police department. Mayor Ruben Falcon sees the two-year proposed plan as a plus for nearly everybody.
"The first year of this plan is all catch up work," Falcon said. "They're things that have been neglected, because the city might not have been in a good financial standing or for whatever reason."
Falcon said the plan is not exactly a bond, more like a bigger loan, one that residents could see in a three dollar jump on their utilities bill.
"But we are not going to go out there and start shopping seven million dollars out. This is a slow, very conservative, very well-thought plan," Falcon added.
One of the best examples to show you just how fast the city of Fort Stockton is growing is the amount of trash that's being consumed. At the city landfill, engineers said the whole area was actually planned to last about 15 years. Several years later, they said it's only going to last about three."Our citizens and our employees have been patient, but there's not an urgency, there's a need, and we're trying to get those needs fulfilled," Falcon said.