FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On Thursday, October 26, 2017 the City of Abilene adopted a resolution approving a water supply and infrastructure partnership between the Cities of Abilene and Ballinger. Today, October 30,2017, the City of Ballinger took action on that measure as well.
Currently, the City of Ballinger receives 500 acre feet of water per year (approximately 450,000 gallons per day), on Lake O.H. Ivie, from the Colorado River Municipal Water District (CRMWD) via a water supply contract with Millersview-Doole Water Supply Corporation. (MDWSC). The supply agreement does not provide enough water to meet the demand for the nearly 2000 water connections in the City of Ballinger Water System. This lack of supply, combined with consistent drought conditions, has put a tremendous financial burden on the City of Ballinger, which has been passed to Ballinger’s water customers. Today, the only source of water available to the City of Ballinger is Lake O.H. Ivie.
Additionally, the cost of raw water-just the charge for water, no transportation-has increased from $0.89 per 1000 in 2006 to $1.46 per 1000 in 2017. In addition, the City of Ballinger pays the City of Abilene a nominal fee to transport water via Abilene’s “Ivie Pipeline”. The transportation fee to the City of Abilene is roughly $50,000 per year. Ballinger pays MDWSC roughly $20,000 per month for access to raw water.
Agreement with Abilene
In the agreement, the City of Abilene will sell at a minimum 625 acre feet of water per year, (approximately 560,000 gallons per day) but no more than 1250 acre feet of water per year (approximately 1.15 Million gallons of water per day) to the City of Ballinger. These amounts will meet or exceed the City of Ballinger’s 35 year “Peak Demand” requirements-meaning that the supply would be sufficient to meet any demand on the system over the last 35 years. The most water ever pumped from the Ballinger Water Treatment Plant since 1983 was approximately 1.1 Million gallons.
The cost structure with the City of Abilene is very advantageous to the City of Ballinger. Whereas Ballinger is currently paying 1.46 per 1000 plus $50,000 in transportation, this agreement with Abilene will only cost $0.79 TOTAL. That is about a 50% savings on the cost of raw water. This price also includes all transportation fees.
Additional Water Supplies
Also included in the agreement with the City of Abilene is that Ballinger will also be connected to Lake Fort Phantom, Lake Hubbard, and Possum Kingdom Lake. Although the cost of water for this connections will be more-Phantom and Hubbard will be $0.99 and Possum Kingdom will be $3.00 – they still represent water supply security that Ballinger has never had prior. In fact, the cost of getting water from Phantom or Hubbard still represents a costs savings compared to the current agreement with MVWSC.
The agreement is for 40 years, with a mutually agreed upon 40 year extension. The costs are only adjusted every 3 years based upon industry standards and CPI.
Ballinger’s Commitment to the Partnership
Ballinger has always been willing to be an equal partner on a water agreement. We have always been a community willing to do its part to ensure success for all. To that end, the City of Ballinger and the City of Abilene have agreed to a partnership to construct infrastructure to ensure Ballinger-and the Region’s-mutual success.
The City of Abilene has three water treatment facilities. The Northeast Plant is located on Lake Fort Phantom. The Grimes WTP is located near downtown Abilene is and is quickly approaching its useful life. The Hargeshimer WTP is located in South Abilene, just off of HWY 277. It the newest of the 3 facilities.
- Raw water from Lake Phantom and Lake Hubbard is pumped to the Grimes WTP.
- Raw water from Lake O.H. Ivie is pumped to the Hargeshimer WTP.
- The two water plants, despite being approximately 10 miles from each other, are not connected.
The City of Ballinger will pay for the Planning, Acquisition, and Design (PAD) to construct a water supply line from the Grimes WTP to the Hargeshimer WTP. This line will be necessary if Ballinger will ever receive water from Lake Phantom, Lake Hubbard, or Possum Kingdom Lake. The approximate cost of the PAD is $3.25 Million. However, Ballinger has received grant funding from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to pay for approximately 2/3 of the cost of the PAD. The City of Ballinger would be responsible for the remaining 1/3, via a low interest loan from TWDB. The cost of the PAD will be approximately $100,000 a year for 10 years.
Furthermore, the City of Ballinger and the City of Abilene have both agreed to jointly construct the water line after completion of the PAD. Ballinger will only be obligated to pay its portion of the pipe.
- Ballinger pays $1.46 for 500 acre feet of water from Lake O.H. Ivie. This is not enough to supply the City of Ballinger.
- Abilene will supply Ballinger with a minimum of 625 acre feet and a maximum of 1250 acre feet at $0.79 per thousand. This represents approximately a 50% reduction in costs.
- Abilene will supply Ballinger a minimum of 625 acre feet and a maximum of 1250 acre feet of water from Lake Hubbard and Lake Fort Phantom at a cost of $0.99 per thousand.
- Abilene will supply Ballinger a minimum of 625 acre feet and a maximum of 1250 acre feet of water from Possum Kingdom Lake at a cost of $3.00 per thousand.
- This agreement is for a 40 year team, with an automatic 40 year renewal. Prices are only adjusted based upon industry standards and CPI.
- This agreement will interconnect Ballinger to four reservoirs, not including Lake Ballinger and Old Lake Ballinger. Upon completion, Ballinger will be able to draw off of six reservoirs.
- Ballinger will pay 100% of the Planning, Acquisition, and Design of a water line connecting Abilene’s Grimes Water Treatment Plant and the Hargesheimer Water Treatment Plant. Ballinger has secured grant funding to help pay the costs of the PAD. Ballinger has also secured a low interest loan from the TWDB to pay for approximately $1 Million of the PAD
- Ballinger and Abilene have agreed to construct the water line from Grimes WTP to Hargesheimer WTP upon completion of the PAD.