Midland County Residents To Vote on the Future of Utility District 5/10/13
CBS 7 News
In the middle of a drought, a utility district needs approval to search for the one of the most precious resources in this area: water.
Certain areas to the south and east of the Midland city limits (precincts 201, 202, 203 and 302 ) could approve a utility district that will provide drinking water to residents and businesses.
A commodity the residents have been worrying about for years.
To Paul Armstrong there are plenty of reasons why he lives and works in the county. “It’s quiet and it’s peaceful,” he said.
But an increase in business and housing in his area is creating a new problem. Everyone needs water.
"We are no good if our wells dry up, I doubt that will happen, but we are having to drill deeper for water."
It’s a burden Armstrong wouldn’t mind off his shoulders.
He is one of 25,000 of Midland County residents who have the choice to vote on a water utility district. Its sole purpose is to find and provide usable water to the area.
“Talking to my neighbors, we’re all for it,” he said, “We would like to see water that's our big concern.”
“People have to haul water to their homes.” Said Doctor Shelton Viney the district's chairman also lives in the area of Midland County affected by the lack of water he says the funding which is nearly $200,000 for the utility plans have all been private if this is not approved by the voters all will be in vain.
“If we never get a source of water in this may take for five years then I guess we will not exist anymore,” Viney said, “however there are sources out there and we working with other entities who are trying to bring water into their district whether it's Midland, Odessa or small towns in the area and other water districts.”
“I'm a little worried,” Armstrong said, “There is never is cap on these tax increases when they start but we need the water.”
The district also has plans for fire hydrants in the county as well, but plans are just that. Viney says they're not allowed to take any action on hiring people to find water sources without voter approval.