ECTOR COUNTY, Texas — Tuesday night, the Ector County Utility District board of directors discussed and debated bidding on new hydrants for their system.
"In 2019, we had 157 hydrants out here that did not work, some people call them fire hydrants, we had 474 in our system, 157 did not work," said Tommy Ervin, president of the ECUD board of directors.
Besides being a water supply for firefighters, they are also necessary to clear out still or tainted water.
"So we said 'let's buy some hydrants,' so we went out for bids for 175 hydrants, we went out for bids to replace some valves, because a lot of valves do not work," said Ervin.
Some of the ECUD board members didn't agree with the way in which the bidding was done.
"So we brought it up in a special meeting that we had last night, some of the board members did not like that process," said Ervin. "They looked at it and said 'this is the law, it clearly states that you have to do things certain ways' and I disagreed with them."
Two board members were against the bidding process, while two others were for it, making three with Ervin.
"The reason being is because I think that we're within the law, that's number one, number two is we saved the tax payers over $25,000 by saying yes last night," said Ervin.
The debate came down to guidance from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. According to TCEQ, if a bid is between $25,000 and $75,000 there must be at least three competitive bids. If it is more than $75,000, the utility district is required to advertise the proposed contract and seek competitive bids.
Ervin said they are being transparent and welcome anyone to find out more about the utility district.
"If any customers of ECUD want to come out here and see anything, you're more than welcome," said Ervin. "If you want financial stuff, you need to do a Freedom of Information Act request and we can make that happen also. Or we can have our CPA, our auditing CPA, we can have them come out here and explain financials to you. Either way we're wide open, we are clear, we are transparent in our financing."