Water Industry News

Canyon City, TX discusses water-rate increase 35% - 40%

A 35-percent to 40-percent increase in Canyon's water and sewer rates could fund proposed improvements to the city's water system.

The Canyon City Commission discussed that and other financial options for improving and expanding the system during its meeting Tuesday. The commission also approved annexation of several roadways adjacent to the city limits.

"It's time to make some major improvements if we want to keep the city of Canyon modern and if we want it to keep its ability to provide services for builders and for developers," City Manager Glen Metcalf said to the commission.

Engineer Dwight Brandt presented construction options for projects including new storage tanks, booster pump stations, pipelines and new wells. Brandt estimated a cost of $8.9 million to expand the water system to cover a section of land north of the city that the commission has discussed annexing.

Two representatives of First Southwest Co. of Dallas presented the commission debt financing options that included issuing up to $7 million in either certificates of obligation or water and sewer revenue bonds. The discussion focused on a 20-year repayment plan.

Metcalf pointed out that Canyon is debt-free. The last water bond the city issued was for $3.5 million in 1983, and the city retired the debt ahead of schedule. And the funds to finish payment on the Canyon Area Library this year already have been budgeted, he said.

The commission authorized the staff to plan the projects with financing options and their impact on water and sewer rates. The commission encouraged Brandt to look for possibilities to etch the total costs back down to $7 million, such as delaying the drilling of new water wells, if necessary.

Commissioners Jed Welch and David Logan expressed interest in attending some planning meetings.

"One of the messages we were hearing from the election in May is that citizens were wanting us to be more progressive," Welch said.

"I think they want us to head that direction until it starts to hit their pocketbooks too hard," Logan said.