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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Is it a Water Rate increase, bad management, a hidden tax increase.or all of the above?

Recently the City of League City announced a steep increase in water rates while it was scheduling a three million dollar transfer from the water enterprise fund to the general fund of the city. The transfer of funds is supposed to offset the expenses of the city to support the enterprise of supplying water and sewer services to the citizens. However, there seems to be little support for the amounts that the city has charged the enterprise fund. There seems to be a lot of rounding up of expenses being charged to the water enterprise fund.

While it is well known that the cost of water is on the increase due to multiple factors. Some are; supply and demand, the record growth of our community, bad planning of the past, stupid deals made with other municipal water systems (more on this subject at a later time). Premature take overs of municipal utility districts with un reimbursed debt to the developer.

League City obtains its water from the City of Houston and the Gulf Coast Water Authority. The cost of providing potable water is increasing for all the reasons that are driving inflation across the country. League City has historically not negotiated contracts to supply the burgeoning community with water and has been restricted in how much well water it can pump from the city owned wells. This perfect storm has caused some near misses in recent past summers where consumption cam very close to exceeding the allowable daily supply. You may notice large water storage tanks being placed in many corners of the city. These tanks are an effort to store water during low consumption periods to buffer those periods of high consumption.

Is the water rate increase a reflection of higher costs of water, new storage tank consumption or is there another component not being discussed? I believe that the city has mistakenly not reimbursed some developers for negotiated rebates on municipal utility districts or MUDs and now they have to pay the piper(No pun intended) to the tune of over Three Million Dollars, which is a familiar number.

What are your thoughts on the this issue?


  1. The answer is "dishonesty". My understanding is that costs that LC non-water departments provide for water/sewer related services is estimated via analysis, rather than billed like a real business. Now if you, a League City elected official, say you want to conduct government as usual, I don't have a huge problem with that. The issue then becomes an issue of water department management. However, if you say that you want to run LC more like a business, then do another thing like condone the estimation of costs, then you are dishonest. I have a big problem with dishonesty.

  2. My problem with the transfer of cash from utilities to the general fund cheats our homeowners who pay federal income taxes and cannot deduct utility bills but can deduct city property taxes. As a resident since 1968, I have not complained about paying taxes in our community because we can pretty much keep an eye on the budget. For years I attended weeks of budget hearings in the summer because councils always vote their hearts. It's their job to take care of infrastructure. I went to push for public safety and Helen Hall Library.

  3. I am trying to understand why the League City Council would approve a preliminary plat that stated this…
    A significant portion of the property is located within the floodplain. It is the applicant’s intent to raise the property out of the proposed floodplain and requires approval from FEMA.
    Due to the raising of the property many of the protected trees would not survive (70 protected trees, 40 of them Oaks with a 29” diameter). Wetlands are also located on this property in which the applicant must get a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to properly mitigate the wetlands and canal.
    This preliminary plat was approved 10/7/2013 as CreekWood Harbour
    There is no record of FEMA approval
    No record of any Permits from the COE or from TGLO...

  4. The Genco canal that is supposed to be turned into a hike and bike trail
    is sited to used as a pipline for more water and there goes any green space south of Shouth shore harbour near Davis road...


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