City Council Members Move Forward With Appointing a Separate Water Group - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/18/05

City Council Members Move Forward With Appointing a Separate Water Group

Lubbock City Council members are one step closer to creating a separate group to oversee the city's water supply. Blocking the way of that decision though is an ordinance, a couple of months and possible legal issues.

An appointed committee has been studying the city's current and future water supply. They presented their finding to council on Tuesday, January 18th. They say if we don't do something now, one of our most precious resources will run out. Councilman Gary Boren said, "Time is not on our side."

Water Committee member, John Wilkerson says he understands how crucial water is to the community. "If you don't have anything to drink or take a bath in, it would get real important very quickly," said Wilkerson.

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Councilman Boren spearheaded the effort to ensure the future of Lubbock's water supply. He wants a separate group to oversee all aspects of water, including revenue, wastewater and the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority (or CRMWA), a group which is trying to gather more water acreage for its 11 participating cities.

Wilkerson, and the rest of the appointed committee unanimously agree. "It would appear to me that this hasn't been a high priority up until now, in my opinion, it needs to be," said Wilkerson.

City Manager, Lou Fox, however, has reservations to acting in what he calls a hasty manner. "It's a respectful disagreement. I haven't gone through all the material that's been presented," said Fox.

Key recommendations suggest the council immediately create a board of trustees. 11 members, including the city manager and mayor, would manage all aspects of the city's water, and a CEO would follow a set of adopted guidelines.

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Wilkerson says this is important to you because he say water will soon be more important than oil. "We can live without oil, but we can't live without water, so it's a very important issue."

Council can't legally pass an ordinance to create the group until May 1st. For now, Fox is helping to prepare a preliminary ordinance on the measure. Creating a separate board shouldn't increase your water bill because members would receive no compensation.

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