The Killeen City Council on Tuesday consented to allowing the city to put $5 million down on a water treatment plant.

The council’s OK allows the city to amend its current budget allocating a $5 million payment up-front on a new water treatment plant on Stillhouse Hollow Lake.

Martie Simpson, the city’s finance director, said by putting the capital down up-front, less money will have to be borrowed from the bond market, meaning less interest will accrue.

Simpson said the city’s financial advisers determined an up-front payment is the best option for the city because of its water and sewer fund’s “extremely healthy” balance.

City Manager Glenn Morrison said Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 will issue the debt, and the city will pay the district.

He said with the city’s new debt for the Stillhouse plant added to its existing debt, the city will pay the district a total of about $76 million.

Last month the council gave Morrison the go-ahead to amend its existing contract with WCID-1 to include the new facility on Stillhouse Hollow Lake.

The treatment plant will add 10 million gallons of treated water per day to the city’s existing 32 million gallons per day out of Belton Lake.

The additional water capacity is expected to meet the city’s growing need for another two decades.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires a city to begin planning for future water usage once it reaches 85 percent of its peak treatment capacity — a mark Killeen nearly hit in 2011, requiring the city to take action.

The construction of the plant is estimated to take from three to five years to complete.

In other action, the council approved increasing the pay for election workers from $8.50 per hour to $10 per hour to meet what surrounding cities are paying.

The council also approved changing Precinct 407 to Precinct 401 to reflect the Bell County Election District’s numbers. City Secretary Dianna Barker said the change won’t affect boundary lines or polling places.

Contact Natalie Stewart at or 254-501-7555

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