Lufkin residents facing possible water rate increase

Lufkin residents facing possible water rate increase

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin residents may soon see a rate increase on their water bills, after a record amount of rainfall hit the area in May.

Lufkin City Manager Keith Wright said the city has seen a 5 year low for this time of the year in water revenue.

"The first six months of the year we've had a five year low as compared to the previous five years," Wright said. "Right now we are projected to be about $400,000 short of our revenue goal for the year. We have to be able to run and maintain the faculties."

The city is currently under a four tier plan of rate increase with the highest increase being six percent. The city has not reached that rate increase, but Wright said the city is considering increasing the rate.

"It's been about four years since we have raised water rates and now we are looking at the possibility of having to raise rates due to the shortages," Wright said.

Raising the rate will have to be approved by the city council. As of now, nothing is on the agenda yet for the rate increase, but Wright said it could happen soon. The rate would also affect areas outside of the city limits that buy water from the city.

"It could be on the agenda as early as July, but we still have to look over some things," Wright said.

Lufkin has a large amount of water supply. The city has 13 water wells they pump from into 6 holding tanks. They have enough of a supply to sale water to other municipalities including the city of Diboll. Wright said the sales to other cities and residential areas in Lufkin are down on exterior usage.

"We had the wettest May we have had in the last 50 years," Wright said. "Irrigation is cut back for, landscaping, yards and things like that," Wright said.

Wright said water usage for interiors and industrial businesses is holding steady.

"Water being used inside will not change," Wright said. "It is the outside usage that suffers at this time."

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