Iowa Park city council votes to decrease water fees

Iowa Park city council votes to decrease water fees

IOWA PARK, TX (KAUZ) - Nearly half a year ago, citizens of Iowa Park felt a financial hit when the city increased water rates for people nearly 35 to 38 percent.
Locals will now feel some relief after city council voted to decrease water fees by approximately 23 percent.
Jerry Flemming, Iowa Park City Manager, says this is because the city underestimated water consumption.
    "Part of setting the water rate was estimating what we thought the water consumption was going to be for the year," Flemming said. "Because it was such a drastic increase, around 40 percent, we were very conservative in our estimates for consumption and assumed people would be using water at or below where they were at during the drought."
Flemming says this issue is important because if water rates are too high, it could drive locals out and prevent businesses from moving to Iowa Park.
    "We have some of the highest water rates in the state of Texas," Flemming said. "And trying to encourage new businesses and industries to locate here, as well as people to locate here, that is one of the factors that helps them make their decision."
Despite the importance of affordable water rates now, Flemming says it is just as important to maintain them for the best of the city in the future. 
    "We need to be looking 20 or 30 years into the future and make sure that we will not only have the water resources that we have right now, but they will be affordable so that a business looking at other areas of the state, other states or countries will look here to establish their business," Flemming said.
Flemming emphasizes the projections are based on quantity each month.
All bills will have a base rate of $32 and each additional 1,000 gallons will cost $12.90.
Despite the fact that water fees have been among the highest in Texas, sewage fees are among the lowest in the state.

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