Members of the North San Saba Water Supply Corporation (NSSWSC) have seen their water rates raised several times in the last three years. The last increase raised the minimum to $59.75 and members using 8,000 gallons will pay $84.07. The first increase this year affected the May water usage and the second affected the July water usage. A water bill for 8,000 gallons in October will cost 60% more than it would have in March.
In August, a committee (Water Supply Committee) was formed to address this matter. The goal was to find a way to ensure that the membership will be supplied potable water at a reasonable price. For years the NSSWSC sold water to its members that did not meet the Texas standard for safe drinking water. This changed when the NSSWSC received a letter from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) stating that compliance with water quality standards would be required by September 1, 2008. There will be more details concerning the health issues in a letter next week.
The NSSWSC reached an agreement with the City of San Saba to supply most of the water now used by the system. This change may address water quality issues for some but not for others. The NSSWC had been buying some water from the City of San Saba for some time but in the recent negotiations, the City raised the rates by 35%. There are still some questions concerning water quality in some areas of the system.
In August, the committee started collecting names on a petition to be sent to the TCEQ to appeal the rate increase. The TCEQ requires that the petition contain signatures of 10% of the membership. After about five days, the committee had collected signatures of approximately 20% of the membership. During this time, we heard many complaints including visible material in the water, low water pressure and the cost.
This petition was hand-delivered to the TCEQ on September 3, 2008. A letter from TCEQ addressed to the NSSWSC President George Hibler stated that the petition had been accepted for filing and a preliminary hearing date would be set in the near future.
Another issue we are concerned about is water loss. Some months the water loss is very high which means we are paying a lot for water that is wasted. According to data provided to us by the NSSWSC, water loss may go as high as 73% in some months.
At the July monthly meeting, a member suggested that the NSSWSC Board talk to the Richland Special Utility District Board (RSUD) about taking over the NSSWSC. We were then informed that the meeting was over.
The RSUD has access to very substantial amounts of water and is of such high quality as to require minimal treatment to meet the water quality standards. The current rate for RSUD water is $30.00 minimum and that comes with 2,000 gallons of water.
At the September monthly meeting, members again proposed the NSSWSC Board meet with the RSUD Board and discuss a takeover. The board voted to contact the RSUD to inquire about this possibility. A letter from the NSSWSC with the exact same body has been sent to the City of San Saba. I am not sure why this would be done since purchasing water from the City of San Saba is the reason for the high rates we are now paying.
Any negotiating must be done in the best interest of the membership.
Members, it could be advantageous to attend the meeting of the NSSWSC on October 28th at 7:00 p.m. on the third floor of the courthouse.
San Saba, Texas
I recently talked to some people about the cat law in San Saba, TX. They said there is one. There is so many cats in San Saba it is unbelievable. If you walk at night, you will see what I am talking about. Every dumpster in town is full of cats. Sometimes as many as 20 cats in one dumpster. I do not see any collars or tags on these cats. If there is going to be a dog law there should be a cat law. If there is a cat law why not enforce it also, like the dog law. There is also a leash law on dogs. Why not cats? The law states a dog must be in a 10x10 pen with food, water, and shelter. Why not cats? I do not see anyone with a cat on a leash. There is plenty of cats in San Saba, TX.
Richland Springs, TX.