A public meeting on the possibility of converting the nonprofit Pritchett Water Supply Corp. (PWSC) to a Special Utility District, or SUD, is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Pritchett Community Center.
PWSC General Manager Robbie Arrington said that there will be a panel at the meeting which will be made up of an engineer and two members of Special Utility Districts which were converted from water supply corporations, and “anyone can ask anything about whether they regret switching over, or have there been any problems.”
Arrington said that advantages of conversion to a SUD would include being able to borrow at lower interest rates, and qualifying for more grants.
Insurance costs would go down, as would taxes on bulk fuel, and vehicles. Also, the SUD would be able to buy vehicles through government group purchasing consortiums.
“We project that there would be enough savings in one year to pay for the conversion,” Arrington said.
Some are opposed to the change. In a letter, Pritchett Water member Rip Hill said that “Texas bureaucrats are pursuing the acquisition of (our) water system once again.”
Members of the Pritchett Water Supply Corp. rejected creating a water district about 10 years ago by a 2-1 margin, Hill said.
Arrington said that was an entirely different type of district, and that Hill had misinterpreted the differences.
Hill said that PWSC “had a good water system for about 40 years. So why should you give it to the state now? These people are not going to give you something for nothing. If you vote for this conversion, they will own your water corporation and it will no longer be owned by its membership.”
Arrington said Hill was misinformed. “It would still be under local control, with the board still elected by the membership.”
Hill said that the SUD would also own all the water rights within the newly formed water district. He said the SUD would make all the rules and regulations and will enforce them with fines and other means.
Arrington said that Hill, who Arrington described as a “good fellow,” was misinformed about that.
“The change would mainly be in the name, and it would help Pritchett Water operate even more soundly,” Arrington said.
Hill said he personally doesn’t think the conversion to a SUD is necessary.