Expansion overview given at town hall

first_img WhatsApp Local News WhatsApp Twitter By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 Pinterest TAGS  Ector County Utility District President Tommy Ervin answers questions after a town hall held Thursday at Buddy West Elementary School. Infrastructure expansion dominated discussion during a town hall meeting that sought to bring Ector County Utility District officials and customers on the same page, but many attendees left discontent with the information they received.Engineering and finance consultants who work with the utility district used the majority of the meeting Thursday to clarify the factors that are driving board members to take action, what projects are needed to relieve system deficiencies and how ECUD plans to finance development in West Odessa.The utility district was established in 1976 and has had an ongoing history of low water pressure concerns.Ector County Utility District President Tommy Ervin said board members realized in 2013 that the water system could not keep up with the population growth occurring in the district.The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires public water systems to maintain a set of minimum operating practices, including maintaining a normal operating pressure of 35 pounds per square inch throughout the system.Ervin said acting now is important because the utility district is on the edge of that minimum requirement with some areas experiencing water pressure as low as 38 psi.ECUD took steps to find viable options that would enhance their system’s operation and developed a master water plan that is expected to meet current and future customer needs for the next 25 years.The master water plan was drafted and designed by the Fort Worth engineering firm Kimley-Horn.“The biggest thing for me was to ensure the system was compliant with state standards,” John Atkins of Kimley-Horn said. “What we’ve tried to do is minimize the amount of infrastructure that ECUD would have to pay for to get this system compliant with TCEQ.”Residents who attended the town hall were taken on a virtual tour of West Odessa to see exactly where proposed improvements and pipelines would be located. The digital rendering showed two water towers added on Knox Avenue and Tripp Avenue, toward the Interstate Highway 20 border of the utility district, and a pump station located on 42nd Street.Chris Ekrut of NewGen Strategies & Solutions presented information that detailed the financial commitments ECUD would have to make in order to execute the master water plan.The district has applied for a $45.7 million loan from the Texas Water Development Board, which provides water planning resources and loans to local governments for water supply and quality projects. Through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan program, ECUD is eligible to use the agency’s loan funding to upgrade their water infrastructure.Ekrut said the advantage of this form of funding is that ECUD receives a lower interest rate than if they borrowed the money from another source. He said the estimated savings to the district total about $13 million over the 30-year life of the loan.As of last month, the loan application was administratively complete by ECUD and is undergoing review by TWDB staff. Final approval on the loan is not expected until November or later.“The board is looking through all of this documentation, they’re looking through all the records of the district, they’re sending people out to talk to district personnel and what they’re trying to gauge and measure is the financial, managerial and technical capability of the district to take on this project,” Ekrut said.The process is like qualifying for a mortgage when buying a house.“They’re going to compare (your income) to what you’re trying to borrow and make sure that you have enough money and that you have the capability to pay back the debt,” Ekrut said.He said water rate increases placed on customers in February have been necessary to demonstrate that the district can generate enough revenue to repay the loan.“If we cannot get funding from the board, that doesn’t absolve you or the district from doing this project,” Ekrut told the audience. “The project still has to happen because the state says these are the requirements and you have to meet those. “If we can’t get funding from the board, we’ve got to look elsewhere and that drives the interest rates up and that drives the cost up.”Robert Chacon, a West Odessa resident, said there should be exemptions for senior citizens on fixed incomes and those that use less water.“I’m using 10 gallons of water a month to water a couple of trees on an empty lot,” Chacon said. “I used to pay $27 and now I’m paying $77. It just doesn’t seem fair.”The utility district provided handouts for seniors at the town hall that listed local programs that provide assistance with utility payments.Jeannie Blankinship is another county resident whose question for board members centered on what they are doing to communicate with customers.Blankinship said grassroots efforts should not be the main way residents receive information and emphasized the district’s need for a website to consistently relay messages to customers.“You can’t leave your communication part out, that’s where everything crumbles,” Blankinship said.Several other residents after the presentation said they remained unconvinced that the infrastructure improvements were even necessary.center_img Pinterest Previous articleBBB celebrates National Small Business WeekHeather Massey is the regional director of the Permian Basin Better Business Bureau.Next articleKhudobin helps Stars end 6-game skid in 3-0 win vs. Panthers Digital AIM Web Support Expansion overview given at town hall Facebook Facebook Twitterlast_img read more


Home Sales Reverse November Decline, Jump 14.4 Percent in December

first_img Home Sales Housing Market Housing Supply RE/MAX 2015-01-21 Tory Barringer December home sales topped the previous month by a double-digit percentage, defying the usual slowdown brought on by seasonal influences, according to a survey of metros nationwide.RE/MAX reported that home sales activity jumped 14.4 percent nationally month-over-month December, a sharp reversal from November’s 22.5 percent drop. Compared to the same month in 2013, December sales were up 3.9 percent, making it one of only a handful of months in 2014 to see transactions improve on a yearly basis.Due on Friday is the National Association of Realtors’ monthly estimate of existing-home sales, which economists expect will show an adjusted annualized transaction rate of 5.05 million, based on a pickup in contract signings in November.”After a sluggish start, it’s nice to see the year end on a positive note. Even though we’re well into the winter months, homebuyers felt confident enough to enter the market in greater numbers than just one month ago,” said Dave Liniger, CEO, chair, and co-founder of RE/MAX.Out of 53 metro markets surveyed by RE/MAX last month, 42 reported higher sales on a year-over-year comparison, with 12 posting double-digit increases, the company said.Continuing the prevailing trend since early 2012, home prices also climbed annually, rising 5.9 percent over December 2013 to a median $196,000. On a year-over-year basis, the national median home price has increased for 35 straight months in RE/MAX’s survey.At the same time, price growth has fallen off by half from 2013 as rising inventory levels and slightly lower demand make for a cooler market.”[W]ith prices rising at a much slower rate than last year, sellers continue to increase their equity, while buyers don’t feel priced out of the market,” Liniger said.Despite the improving trend in inventory, supply remains constrained, falling 10.7 percent in December compared to the year prior and 11.4 percent compared to November. Inventory has increased sequentially in 14 of the last 20 months, with November and December both proving an exception to the pattern, RE/MAX said. Previous: Based on Recent Signs, Economists Say ‘More Robust’ Year for Housing Lies Ahead in 2015 Next: DS News Webcast: Thursday 1/22/2015 Tagged with: Home Sales Housing Market Housing Supply RE/MAX in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Home Sales Reverse November Decline, Jump 14.4 Percent in December Sign up for DS News Daily About Author: Tory Barringer Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington’s student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to, he is also the online editor for DS News’ sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Share Savecenter_img The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Home Sales Reverse November Decline, Jump 14.4 Percent in December The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago January 21, 2015 1,231 Views Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles  Print This Post Subscribelast_img read more