9,400 water customers in the Wellborn special utility district (SUD) will be paying more starting in March.
Campbell Young, who was promoted to general manager January 1 following the retirement of Stephen Cast, brings up two reasons for a rate increase.
One is what Young describes as massive cost increases the last couple of years in treatment chemicals, materials, and services.
And the cost of the water district’s capital improvement plan rose from $45 million dollars when the last rate increase took place, to $55 million. Young said interest rates rose while waiting for financing to come through from the Texas Water Development Board.
Young says the Wellborn SUD’s capital improvement plan includes:
- “$45 million is for the 2020 System Improvement Project which consists of a wellfield with water rights on two properties north of Bryan, two big Simsboro wells, a treatment plant with a pump station and 1,000,000 gallons of ground storage, and 13 miles of 30” pipeline to bring it to the Wellborn tower. The pipeline is sized to handle the wellfield at full buildout so we have some room for quickly expanding supply in the future. We’re expecting to have it online by mid 2024.
- $3 million is for the new water tower we have out for bid right now, expected completion in November 2023.
- The $7 million is for the next project, which will either be an expansion to our surface water treatment plant or some additional wells in the wellfield. Our consulting engineer is working on an update to the master plan now to determine which route will be the most cost effective for the District.”
A water rate study that was done last summer projected the rate increase will cover the district for the next five years. Young says there are no plans for another rate increase at this time.