COPPERAS COVE — The City Council on Tuesday approved a contract to allow Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 to handle its wastewater testing services.

The contract calls for WCID-1 to provide the service for about $31,000 annually.

That cost is less than one city employee and will help the city experience a cost savings of about $180,000 per year after a second contract is agreed upon for managing the city’s biosolids, said City Manager Andrea Gardner.

“We already have the personnel to run the test,” WCID-1 General Manager Jerry Atkinson said at an April meeting. “This is what we do. It is our job to be a regional water and wastewater facility.”

He said the district has a biologist and a chemist on staff to handle the testing, which will replace the work city employees have been doing.

City staff who would be affected by outsourcing the testing services already have been moved to different departments, Gardner said. No one will lose his job because of the contract, and it is a cost savings to the city.

According to city information, Cove allocates about $462,000 a year for the services WCID-1 may provide after the second contract is completed.

Gardner said the second part of that contract should be completed in the near future.

“We still have to work on the composting (biosolids contract),” she said. “It is a little more complicated.”

Another $1.19 million in savings is projected by not purchasing new city equipment and building and maintaining facilities after WCID-1 takes over the services, according to future improvement plans. If the city were to forgo outsourcing, that equipment would need to be replaced and facilities maintained to continue operations.

WCID-1’s board still has to agree on the contract, Gardner said, adding that the contract is not yet final.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7474

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