LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Concerned about residents losing voting rights, Killeen City Council members Shirley Fleming and Steve Harris will be holding a forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, at Anderson Chapel, 1002 Jefferis Ave.

The forum subject is a proposal by the regional water district to eliminate elections for its board at the same time it updates service boundaries.

Guest speakers will include newly elected WCID board director Richard “Dick” Young and potentially more speakers. The forum will be in the style of a Q&A, in which residents can ask questions about the water district.

Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 sets water rates for the entities it serves who can pass the charges through to residents and businesses.

The district can also levy debt that is paid back by water ratepayer funds after City Council approval. In 2013, the district approved $50 million for a new water treatment plant, now estimated to cost $46.1 million, being built on Stillhouse Hollow Lake and being repaid by its water users, primarily Killeen residents and businesses.

WCID serves Killeen, Copperas Cove, Belton, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 3 and 439 Water Supply Corporation.

The water district had its first election in 24 years in May 2018 and had not updated its service boundaries since 1954. That meant, when the district finally had an election, only people within a small portion of Killeen could vote. The district has been criticized for lack of transparency. Go to bit.ly/KDHmysterious for more on that.

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