City of Odessa voids contract with ECUD

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 7:03 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The City of Odessa has determined the contract with the Ector County Utility District to be void.

“The citizens of West Odessa should not and will not suffer because of a political side show,” said ECUD Board Member Troy Walker.

Odessa city manager John Beckmeyer and city attorney staff investigated the contract between ECUD and the city following a request on ECUD’s behalf for a refund after being reportedly overcharged.

“We sent them a letter that said we would like to enter into negotiations because we believe that the contract is void,” said Beckmeyer.

Until it’s negotiated, Beckmeyer says they’ll take the contract month to month with the same rate.

“It’s not really the rate structure that we have in question so I don’t see the rate structure changing significantly,” said Beckmeyer.

Walker says until a judge rules otherwise the contract is still valid. Either way, nothing changes.

“There is a law on the books that says if you’re a convicted felon or charged with a felony to my knowledge you are not allowed to run or hold an elected office,” said Walker.

You’ll remember CBS7 reported over a year ago ECUD President Tommy Ervin was found guilty of four felony counts of dealing cocaine and methamphetamine in 1975.

“Do away with the law or make somebody enforce the law,” said Walker.

“It’s not enforced, it hasn’t been enforced, we can’t find anybody to enforce it. If the city wants to fight it this way it’s probably going to turn into a lot of political officials losing their jobs, not just Tommy Ervin,” said Walker.

There is one thing both ECUD and the city agree on, no one’s water will be shut off.

Beckmeyer says he hopes to clean up what’s caused the contract to be void and move forward.

“Making sure that we have good solid contracts so that people know what they’re going to be paying for water, know what their utilities are gonna cost them so businesses know what they’re getting into when they move into a certain area,” said Beckmeyer.

ECUD has still not responded to the city. Beckmeyer says it’s in their court to negotiate.

Tommy Ervin did not respond to requests for comment.