The MUD 109 Northwest Harris County Regional Water Authority will raise rates to the district in October. Board members met May 15 with consultants to discuss a number of items on the agenda, including an amendment of the water rate order. The result will be an increase to district residents of more than 100 percent. Residents are now paying 34 cents per 1,000 gallons of water used. The amount is significantly less than what has been charged to the district, currently 74 cents per 1,000 gallons. Glenn Bogs, board president, explained that residents have been receiving a 25-cent discount, due to the bond issuance that was needed to cover the initial costs of meeting the Water Authority's charges. The Authority is the governing body of the district due to “subsidence issues,” said Bogs. The district has been meeting the difference between the amount charged by the Authority and the amount paid by residents for several years. Board members were advised that other districts in the area have been charging residents an amount to equal the Authority's charges and told that they should do the same. After some discussion, the board decided to keep the rate as it is for now and to increase the rate by 40 cents in October, when the Authority's rate increases. The 99-cent per 1,000 rate will be met by increasing the water rate to 74 cents, while still allowing for the 25-cent bond credit. The board also voted to renew the district's insurance after looking over several bids. The board decided to go with HARCO Insurance Services of Humble after reviewing the premiums versus the deductibles and coverage caps. The group also heard from Jason Svatek of Brown & Gay Engineers Inc., the district's engineering firm. Svatek reported that in addressing the issue of too much water flowing into the cul-de-sac on Green Timbers, there are several options. One would be to increase the size of the pipes, but Svatek said that a “pipe burst” would not be possible with the existing pipes due to lack of clearance below the ground. The cost of digging the pipes up and replacing them would be great. Svatek said that another option would be to add more inlets further up the street to divert some of the water from flowing directly into the cul-de-sac. Svatek said that the best option would likely be to dig a pond in the area behind the Gameroom Warehouse and the other businesses there, to contain the water and eliminate the need for larger pipes. “That's going to be the best option to keep water from coming into Green Timbers with heavy rain,” said Svatek. He added that acquiring the land for the pond would require that the district buy the land from the current landowners, provided they were willing to sell and would sell for a reasonable price. In other business, the board decided to make landscaping improvements to the two water plants at the request of neighbors and due to the fact that some of the landscaping was planted in 1978 and needs to be replaced. The board also discussed the security cameras now in place at the water plants. They were advised that remote access to the video feed would be a good idea. The video can now only be reviewed by going to the plants and getting the recordings. The budget was reviewed and approved pending the adjustments that will result in the water rate increase. Board members decided to give the residents advanced notice of the increase via their next quarterly newsletter. MUD 109 meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at 5535 Green Timbers Drive. The district serves the Oaks of Atascocita, Atascocita West, Atascocita North, Kingwood Glen and Belleau Woods. Their Web site is www.waterdistrict109.com.www.waterdistrict109.com. Photo: Glenn Bogs

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