To the Editor:

The most important thing a city does is provide water for citizens, followed closely by sewer and solid waste. Instead we have over 60 percent of the budget going to public safety.

This statement is made not to say that the public safety is not important; I believe it is. The problem lies in the bald fact that if there is no water, there is no public safety. In fact, there will be no city to be safe in!

The city has initiated a solid plan to get water from a new plant on Stillhouse Hollow Lake and is now hiring someone to tell us how to get this future water to the city itself.

We are seeing great steps taken to improve the water treatment plant, which, taken with the new source of water, will set Killeen on a good footing for the future.

Unfortunately, the city has been slow to recognize the threat to the south. We often hear that the future growth of Killeen is going to occur in the much-ballyhooed southern corridor.

The problem lies in the failure of Killeen to address the collapse of the Chisholm Trail water system.

Georgetown was very proactive, scooped them up and now is very close to having a lock on the southern corridor water. This is going to make expansion to the south very tricky.

The old Chisholm Trail water delivery system includes much of southern Bell County, exactly in the path of the great southern expansion plans of Killeen. Anyone who thinks Georgetown politicians are going to prioritize water for southern Bell citizens, who cannot vote for them, over their own interests are living in a dream world.

The citizens of Killeen need forward-thinking council members who can balance a checkbook and are not beholden to special interests and big unions.

We need individuals who understand that when you borrow money (bonds) to pay for everyday city maintenance functions such as streets, sewers, you are not being a good steward of the citizens’ money.

When you transfer money from Solid Waste to fund the General Fund or when you “find” $5 million you did not know you had, I suspect someone is not doing their job. The concept of how to fix the city’s financial problems is not difficult. Spend less than you earn and save for those inevitable unforeseen emergencies! The problem comes with the execution.

Citizens should realize that a bond is a debt. A debt that the citizens will pay, not the politicians who may be long gone! It took us quite a while to get into this mess and it may take us a while to get out.

James ‘Jack’ Ralston

Killeen

(2) comments

Alvin
Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.
@tomintexas: “ I'm afraid I will have to disagree with you on this matter and with James 'Jack' Ralston. I feel the problem is in the fact that they, one of the previous regimes, wanted to secure some additional water rights, and 'Dam the cost', and the fact that they wanted 'to cut a fat hog in the butt' in doing so. Now as the previous group spent $5 million dollars 'to kick off the water plant' and secured a $30 million dollar bond. With this project almost 4 years old now, and have already suffered at least 1 project delay, they come to us with a new project to fund and that is the elevated water tank, associated pipelines and pumping station. Why wasn't this in the first, all inclusive project???? What other little tidbit of information are they going to spring on us???? And the question remains, has the Georgetown
have in store for us????
Copy: 'We are seeing great steps taken to improve the water treatment plant, which, taken with the new source of water, will set Killeen on a good footing for the future.' end of copy.
I have asked the question, 'with the inclusion of the water source shifting from Killeen to Georgetown, does the Water District still feel confident that in the future, the 10 MGD of dedicated water that was selected as the source of water is going to be delivered to Killeen'????
Now there is 'talk' that Killeen should be 'buying' shares of water to be delivered in the future. Why???? Why are now being asked to 'buy' these future shares in a plan that may not be able to provide them???? In my estimation, that is buying a 'pig in a poke', not going to assured that the future water is going to be available.
I have wondered about the decision to 'not go after the Georgetown escapade rather than have the contractor for this housing development go after it. It seems that the Killeen Management team, such as it is would be scratching tooth and nail, but this town is very 'low key' in this endeavor.
Hmmm, I wonder why???
One of the few who voted.

tomintexas

While the city of Killeen may suffer from inaction in the matter of Chisholm Trail Water Supply's being absorbed by Georgetown, its disappointment is relatively recent. The real aggrieved parties are the rural residents who have been misled by the corporation since the inception of the "system" decades ago. The purpose for creating these systems was to bring water to rural areas, and in many other systems that purpose was honored - not by Chisholm Trail. That corporation secured a large section of Bell County thereby excluding service by other entities. The area residents stepped up to buy meter permits subsequent to Chisholm Trails' pleas for financial support, but Chisholm Trail did not reciprocate or follow through. Inquiries and questions at meetings were deflected by the board and executives. While Killeen now recognizes its mistake, rather than questioning Georgetown's taking over the system, it would appear more logical and possibly more productive to investigate what or who caused Chisholm Trail to deviate from its initial mandate and how that was enabled.
Of course, that might be embarrassing to some.

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