City of Lubbock asks for stimulus money to help with pipeline project - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/12/09

City of Lubbock asks for stimulus money to help with pipeline project

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Congressional leaders are ironing out final details on the proposed $790 billion economic stimulus plan. A final House vote could come Friday, with a Senate vote expected Friday night or Saturday. Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin says the City of Lubbock applied to get up to $70 million of that stimulus money to help pay for the Lake Alan Henry Pipeline Project. The money would help ease the financial burden of the project, but Martin doesn't think we'll get it.

"Since the bill is basically ready to be enacted, it's our understanding there will only be $900 million in water projects money available for the whole state of Texas. My guess is we will be lucky to get any, and if we do it might be a few million," says Martin.

To pay for the pipeline project, Lubbock was scheduled to have a 16 percent increase in March. But elected officials were stunned to find out the City Water Department is losing up to seven million dollars a year. They were told the rate hike would need to be 46 percent, but the Mayor says that's too high. He thinks it's more likely to be around 32 percent, and hopes it's even lower.

This chart shows how water rates have risen in the last five years for 10,000 gallons per month. It also shows two possible future increases. One depicts 16 percent - and the other a 32 percent increase followed by 16 percent increases. Both projections could go back down if overall water consumption goes up, or if the city can save money on the pipeline project.

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