The city of Robert Lee is facing a potential rate increase that officials feel they have no choice but to pass on to residents.
“Back in 2012 we had to shut down our surface water treatment plant due to lack of water,” explains Billy williams, the city superintendent for Robert Lee. “Drought with Lake Spence and the little city lake. That point we laid a pipeline to Bronte and started purchasing water from them.”
As a result of that Robert Lee made a deal with Bronte to buy water, 6 milion gallons per month.
“Here recently they decided that if we go over that 6 million within the month they’re going to start charging us an overage charge for anything over that,” said Williams. “Which of course we’re going to have to pass that on to our customers. We’re lucky to have the water that we got right now. The ball is in their court, they can pretty much do whatever they want because we gotta have it.”
Even with local water levels back up to useable levels, Robert Lee’s infrastructure has not aged well. “The plant we have now is way out dated,” Williams said. “When it was in operation it was hard to meet permits. Briging it back to life it’s it’s going to cost more to try to rehab that than what it would cost to just start over.”
The city did not recieve any of the USDA rural development money recently given to other Concho Valley communities. They are however putting together applications for other grants including Texas Water Development Board funding.