Murchison residents gather to discuss water rate concerns

“The opportunity to speak I mean this is the American way of doing things,”
Published: Aug. 20, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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MURCHISON, Texas (KLTV) - On August 9th, the Murchison City Council met with residents to explain why their water rates drastically increased. On Saturday, residents gathered to further discuss the situation that has left many of them with significantly higher rates.

Mayor Bryan Wilkins says residents’ water rates increased to fix an outdated water system created back in 1961. Wilkinson and Murchison City councilmember Ken Baker have resigned from their respective positions. An agenda for the Murchison City Council’s upcoming meeting shows the council will consider accepting those resignations.

“We don’t have enough money among us to raise the water rates high enough to replace or repair the system as it should be,” said resident Ann Boyles.

Boyles started a petition last month to get water rates back down to where they previously were.

“It was $93 and went to $293. Many are higher than mine,” said Boyles.

Boyles said the funds should have come from another source.

“Redoing, replacing of our water system, it is very old it hasn’t been updated in a long time. But we must have grants and that should have already been discussed and considered,” Boyles said.

Brad Gray is an investigator for the County Attorney’s Office in Athens. Gray hopes to be elected to sit as a council member now that two positions are available.

“First off, transparency. Our current city council hasn’t been open with the public and sometimes even refuses to provide information so that’s one of the key things that I’m focusing on is transparency within our government,” Gray said.

Torance Mcclean says he’s lived in Murchison for 7 years now and is interested in a city council member position as well.

“I just want to know what’s going on in the city I live in, the city I raise kids in,” said McClean.

The resignation of the mayor and mayor pro-tem will be discussed at the next city council meeting.

The next Murchison city council meeting will take place Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Murchison City Hall.