The Killeen City Council approved Tuesday an agreement with Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 for the financing, design and construction of a water treatment plant on Stillhouse Hollow Lake.
The amendment to the city’s existing contract with WCID-1 will give the city an additional 10 million gallons of treated water per day, and is projected to meet the city’s growing water needs for the next two decades. It adds to the city’s current 32 million gallons per day from Belton Lake.
The city was forced to begin planning for future water usage when it began flirting with surpassing state water regulations in 2011.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires a city to begin planning for future usage once it reaches 85 percent of its peak treatment capacity, which the city came close to in 2011.
The city has a contract with WCID-1 for treated water from Belton Lake at a rate of 62 cents per thousand gallons.
City Manager Glenn Morrison said the amendment to the contract will translate to the same rate to the Stillhouse Hollow plant.
The contract also states that WCID-1 will issue the debt services for the plant construction at its current rate of 62 cents per thousand gallons.
The contract also provides the city with 2 million gallons of interim water while the plant is under construction. The city is only charged for what it uses.
The plant will serve Killeen and neighboring cities. The city is expected to fund nearly $30 million for the facility’s construction.
Martie Simpson, city finance director, said at a November council workshop meeting that the total debt service is slightly more than $87 million, which includes existing debt and debt that will come into play.
The city will put in an initial cash outlay of $5 million for the construction, rather than issuing capitalized interest.
Purple Heart City
Killeen is the second city in Bell County, and the fifth in the state, to bear the Purple Heart City designation.
The council Tuesday voted in favor of bearing the designation. Purple Heart cities are known for their dedication to veterans, and the designation pays tribute to servicemen and -women who received the honor.
Harker Heights was the first in the county to become a Purple Heart City when its council declared the designation in mid-January.
There are 282 Purple Heart cities in the country. Texas is home to fuve: Harker Heights, Georgetown, Kerrville, Lubbock and Killeen. Kerr County is the only county in the state to bear the designation.