Water Rates Could be Hiked
Debate raged on Monday night at Laredo's city council meeting over water rate hikes that the utilities department says are necessary. Some council members did not want to vote on this issue because they say they didn't have all the facts.
Dr. Michael Landeck says, "the vote was an increase on numbers and projects that really we do not know what they are at this point."
Other rate hikes have focused on commercial properties but this hike will be different.
Utilities director Tomas Rodriguez says, "What I think is concerning the council is the increase in the rates now is going to affect the residential customers."
Only four years ago the city of Laredo city council voted yes to raising water rates for projects that included a secondary water source. That idea was scrapped because of cost issues but the city is now looking to build a water treatment plant.
"The water treatment plant is about 80-million plus the road all that and the water line is about 111-million and then we have an additional 60 inch water line that's another 16-million."
While rates in Laredo are still below the Texas average they could raise by an average of up to $3 a month, every year.
Sara Garza isn't in favor of the hike, "I don't like it. I don't think they should raise it, we already pay enough taxes as it is. Can't they find some other solution."
The citys projections have Laredo doubling in size by 2060 and say they are barely keeping up as it is now and demand is only going to grow.
"Our demands going to be close to 180 million gallons a day, all we've got right now is a 65 million gallon capacity."