Fort Stockton Mayor Fighting with Council Member Over Bond Improvements

Camaron Abundes
Camaron Abundes

By Camaron Abundes  
NewsWest 9

FORT STOCKTON- The Mayor of Fort Stockton is going head to head with City Council Member Steve Hampton. Hampton wrote a letter to the Editor of the Fort Stockton Pioneer asking voters to sign a petition that would put a seven million dollar bond before voters.

Mayor Ruben Falcon says he wants people to think twice before they sign the petition started by Hampton. The City Council passed the $7 million dollar capital improvement bond, in August, but if Hampton gets 250 registered voters to sign the petition it will go on the May Ballot. Mayor Falcon says it's too late to get the bond on the November ballot and he says the city can't wait that long.

"If you sign it, that means for a whole year we won't be able to do this, because we won't have the money. We have the money to function but we don't have the money for high demand stuff like this," Mayor Falcon, said.

Hampton tells NewsWest 9 he thinks the city is spending too much and it should be up to voters to decide how they want to spend the money.

The bond will spend $400,000 dollars on water lines for new residential developments and thousands more on water treatment plant upgrades. The bond will also pay for a trash compactor for the city's landfill and new police cars, a new fire truck, and a new animal shelter. It will also allocate $1 million dollars for upgrades to the city's parks and recreational facility.

"We need this money now," Mayor Falcon said, "So you can imagine how much service is going to have to increase to make up that money."

Mayor Falcon says SandRidge Energy plans to start building 400 homes in Fort Stockton and the city is responsible for water lines and streets in the neighborhood. He says they will need to spend the money for this and other projects and will likely raise the cost of services like water and trash to pay for it.

He says if the bond stays in place, residents will pay three dollars a month more on their water bill.

"We put it together with a professional firm," Mayor Falcon said, adding the council worked with Estrada Hinojosa Investment Bankers for a year, "they helped us with this, to do away with things that were not important. This is just all catch up work."