I read with great interest the "LETTER TO THE EDITOR" by Stan Weik in the October 30 issue of the News & Star. It was quite interesting since it seemed to be laced with big city greed rather than small town practicality. He says that the city has sold water to NSSWSC for 18 years without a price increase. I seriously doubt that keeping the rate as it was would bankrupt the city. And yes, the NSSWSC has the right to drill another well but I think Mr. Weik needs a history lesson.
I think it was in 1995 that a grant was obtained to drill another well. The "board" didn't want to drill close to the original, but as hard as they tried not an acre of land was "available". Through the generosity of Mr. R.T. Woodrow enough land was donated where a new well was drilled at a cost of $330,00, including $30,000 that had to be paid by NSSWSC. (It boggles my mind to even think about what it would cost now.) It is 3,100 feet deep, and when finished was producing a whopping 60 gallons per minute. A few years ago another grant was obtained to replace virtually all the existing water lines, which were leaking like a sieve. I don't know if another grant could be gotten to drill another well on the north side of the river, but even so, why dig another 3,100 foot hole to produce 60 (+or-) gallons per minute? Further, how could NSSWSC come up with a 10% share?
Mr. Weik says that NSSWSC has the right not to buy water from the city. That is not true! When the lines were extended northward up highway 16 to the county line and eastward to the Pecan Grove area, I don't recall that a grant was obtained for that project, but instead was a loan. (Jim Childress, correct me if I am wrong). Because of the uncertainty and low production of the existing well, the "STATE" required NSSWSC tie in to a backup system. Of course the only way to do that was from the city. It wasn't because the board members wanted to buy city water, it was a must in order to get the loan. As I remember, the contract called for NSSWSC to pay for 100,000 gallons each month, even if no city water was used. For some reason, known only to the NSSWSC water operator at that time, no city water came across the river. I suppose it was the assumption of the many board members who came and went over those years that the 100,000 gallons were being used. When Mrs. McKinney took over as water operator she informed the board of that situation, so they started using the 100,000 which means that for many years the city got a "free ride". I don't recall that anyone from the city government ever informing the NSSWSC board of that. Of course hindsight is 20/20, but two of the original customers of NSSWSC told me that it was never the intention of the original board to expand the system beyond the China Creek, lower Spring Creek and Fairview areas, but apparently nothing was put in the bylaws or tariff to prevent it.
Let's just suppose that the NSSWSC were able, by chance, to get another grant or a low interest loan to buy some land on the south side of the river and on which to drill a well, then tie in to the existing pipeline. Would the city issue a permit, (assuming that one is required), or even allow it to be done? I DOUBT IT! Mr. Weik further stated that the cost of one gallon of city water is $0.00161. I say to Mr. Weik and the city council, that is $0.00161 too much. I seriously doubt that there has been very little, if any, increase of pumping water to NSSWSC. It is just another example of "the rich" taking advantage of the misfortune of others. Remember city council, NSSWSC customers shop in San Saba, so they pay city sales tax too.
To Everyone in San Saba:
I have lived in your lovely area for almost 3 years now and there are some things I would like to say to each of you and this is the best way I could think of to accomplish what I wanted. First and foremost, I want to thank all of you for making life here so joy filled, interesting and wonderful. Whether you count me as a friend, see me as an acquaintance, do not know me at all or just wave at me when I walk each day or shake your head at me because I ride a bike like a crazy person, know that you have touched my heart and made my life richer for the experience.
I learned a long time ago that life is short and the best way to lengthen it is to live it inside out. While some worry that I am naive, too trusting and easily taken advantage of, I hope I will die leading with my heart, having faith in it being put in someone else's hands and caring deeply about the needs of someone else more than I worry damage may come to me. I always figure it this way, I have survived cancer twice; I think I can survive hurt feelings. All of you have made it so easy to live up to my philosophies of life. I have met such wonderful, kind, loving and caring people. Of course, San Saba is not a perfect world and it took me some time to get used to a few things but that is called life. There has to be balance to all things.
So, in this season of realizing the great gifts God has given us, I want to thank each of you for the gifts you all have given me... community, fellowship, joy, laughter and hope. To the ranchers I sometimes see at coffee in the morning...thanks for talking to a vegetarian even if you are telling stories about deer guts! To my regular coffee buddies, you guys are the very best and I love each of you dearly, to my neighbors, I could not have special ordered any better friends and to anyone reading this...thank you, thank you, thank you. Life is a gift and responsibility. A smile can change a moment; a kind word can turn resentment and anger around and caring about someone else's pain can diminish the worst of your own.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND THE HAPPIEST OF NEW YEAR'S
San Saba Resident of a Lifetime in Her Heart
To the Editor,
Yea! for San Saba. The Christmas parade was outstanding. I am so proud of all who planned, participated and attended this parade. I have been in San Saba 30 years and this one is the very best. It is surprising what a little planning, effort, and interest can do. I hope that we, in San Saba can continue this attitude. A great big thank you to all concerned.