Water bills, frustration boil over in Blue Mound

Print
Email
|

by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 26 at 9:31 AM

Blue Mound

View larger map

BLUE MOUND — Darron Arnold has just about had it with his monthly water bill.

"It's ridiculous. We're looking to move," the plumber said.

Arnold and many of the other 800 households in tiny Blue Mound are becoming increasingly frustrated with their monthly statements.

Arnold pays about $150 every month, and said his family's bill is triple what it was nine years ago.

Makings matters worse is that neighbors who live just down the street in Fort Worth typically pay $50 to $60 for water service, according to homes surveyed by News 8.

"That is unbelievable to me," said Erik Smith, who pays Fort Worth for his water bill.

Blue Mound's residents have long complained about poor quality and paying too much, according to Mayor Alan Hooks.

"Historically, if you follow a graph from 2000 to 2020, it could get up to $600 or $700," he said.

Although the mayor admitted that would be a "worst" case scenario, he said many townspeople are expecting additional, steep hikes in the coming years.

The town is now locked in legal proceedings with Monarch Utilities, a private company operated by SouthWest Water. The town wants to take control of the water system.

Monarch pointed out in a statement that the current rates were approved by the city last year.

"The City of Blue Mound has original jurisdiction over the rates Monarch charges for water and sewer service in the City of Blue Mound, said SouthWest Water VP Chuck Profilet. "The rates Monarch currently charges were approved by the City in May 2012."

Residents also admitted that some improvements — like new meters — were recently installed. And Blue Mound's actual infrastructure is old, so it does require maintenance.

But so far, none of those explanations have done much to temper customer outrage.

In fact, legislation has been introduced by State Rep. Charlie Geren of Fort Worth to help Blue Mound take control of the water, if it ultimately wins out in the eminent domain battle being waged in court.

The next court date is early April.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|