Senate Committee Approves Bill Protecting Blue Mound
May 7, 2013
The Senate Committee on Natural Resources today unanimously approved HB 1160, sponsored by Senator Jane Nelson, to allow the City of Blue Mound to take over its water utility and provide relief to residents from exorbitant water rates imposed by its water utility monopoly.
"My constituents are being gouged with exorbitant rates that are unjustified and significantly higher than nearby providers," said Senator Nelson. "These residents should not be trapped in a monopoly that overcharges them with no way out."
Currently, the average water bill in Blue Mound is $145 per month for only 5,000 gallons, 300% greater than the rates charged by the neighboring City of Saginaw. HB 1160, authored by Representative Charlie Geren, R-River Oaks, would require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to transfer the certificate of convenience and necessity from the private water company to the city, allowing the city to serve its water needs, if the city is successful in its current attempt to take control of the water infrastructure through eminent domain. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.