$325,000 Fort Worth water study recommends no major changes

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 21 at 11:05 PM

FORT WORTH — On Tuesday morning, the city of Fort Worth's Water Utility Task Force will present findings from a seven-month efficiency study to the City Council.

But according to a preview of the material reviewed by News 8, the study won't recommend any significant changes to the Water Department.

The city budgeted more than $325,000 for the review. The primary goal was to identify possible ways the city could save money by privatizing some water services.

The large cost is something Pete Talleos, the president of the North Texas Association of Public Employees, says could have been better spent elsewhere.

"It's a reflection of bad government," Talleos said. "It's a drain on the taxpayer of Fort Worth."

Mayor Betsy Price defended the study's cost on Monday, saying she expects some smaller recommendations to come out of it that may help in the long run.

"There are no major changes, but there are smaller changes," she said. "Some of our best ideas have come citywide, when someone came in and looked at their department and said, 'Why do you do this?' And they said, 'Why do we do this?' So, we will recoup that money."

Price cited a possible recommendation of using an enhanced, high-tech metering infrastructure as one suggestion that may prove more efficient down the road.

Similar reviews are underway (or expected to start shortly) for at least a dozen other city departments.

Price said none of them will be as expensive as the water review, because the city is planning to do more of the work in house.

The city was unable to immediately provide figures on how much those studies cost, or are expected to cost.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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