Murchison City Council addresses water rate increase Tuesday evening

Murchison City Council addresses water rate increase Tuesday evening
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 11:33 PM CDT

MURCHISON, Texas (KLTV) - Tuesday evening Murchison City Council met with a standing-room-only crowd and many people waiting outside the meeting hoping to get answers on why the city water rate has gone up.

The fire marshal has a maximum capacity of 30 people in city hall, leaving many outside waiting for answers.

“Why can’t we move it outside where everybody can hear,” a resident asked before the meeting began.

“Well because we have to have our and we have to be able to notate what’s going on, we’re not set up outside,” Mayor Bryan Wilkins responded.

“Let’s set it up outside… there’s a hundred people outside,” she said.

“Our meeting’s about to start,” Wilkins said.

Once the meeting started, Murchison Mayor Bryan Wilkins explained why rates are increasing.

“We’re dealing with an aging system. This system was created in 1961. The sewage was brought in in 1977, we still have water lines in the ground that are from 1961,” he said.

Residents signed up to voice concerns over the price and quality of water. Ann Boyles and others generated a petition and are trying to get enough names to get rates reduced.

“Nobody can afford to pay these increased rates, not to mention that they went up more than five percent without permission from the state,” Boyles said.

Another resident said she’s on a fixed income and not getting money coming in to meet the increase.

“To a point that I may have to move because my budget does not increase that high,” she told council.

Keeynan Baker is the mayor pro tem and said he hears the concerns and is taking them to heart. He lives in the city and is being impacted too.

“It’s a situation that if we don’t take action immediately, we’re not going to have city sewer and city water. When it breaks we won’t have the money to fix it and our main goal is to get the money to get in line to receive federal grants and help forgiving loans,” Baker said. “But you have to meet certain criteria and show that you’re trying to help yourself in order to qualify for those loans and grants, and that’s the action that we’re taking.”

The council also approved the current city secretary’s replacement. They voted on bringing on Trina Cloud for the new city secretary position.

The next city council meeting will be at city hall on Tuesday, September 13 at 6 p.m.

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