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Alpine selling water to pipeline company

May 7th, 2015 under Top Stories

By SASHA von OLDERSHAUSEN

ALPINE – At a special city council meeting held Tuesday, Alpine city manager Erik Zimmer confirmed that the city has been selling its water to Pumpco, Inc., the construction firm tasked with building the Trans-Pecos Pipeline.

The construction firm has purchased 24,889 gallons of water from the city per day for the past two weeks. Since there is no direct line that runs from the city to the site, Pumpco, Inc. has transported the water in truckloads to its 23-acre equipment site in west Alpine, where it is unloaded into a small reservoir. There, the water has been used to minimize dust in the excavation process.

The water amounts to 2.1 percent of the city’s daily sale of water, according to Zimmer.

“We’re capable of producing three times the amount that we sell. So, what they’re taking from us is less than one percent of what we produce on a day-to-day basis,” Zimmer said.

He added, “If someone wanted to come in and buy half a million gallons of water a day, at that juncture, we’re going to look at what our capacity is. We’re not going to negatively impact our residential use.”

The deal was made through the city’s bulk water rate ordinance 98-83 (c), which states that the purchase for the first 1,000 gallons of water is $11.00. For the next 1,000 gallons and thereafter/per 1,000 gallons of water amounts to $25.00.

Alpine residents who attended the special meeting Tuesday – the majority of whom were outspoken opponents of the pipeline – expressed shock and outrage at the news. When asked whether he expected the fallout, Zimmer said, “I think anyone who is opposed to the project would show some level of concern with any entity that is providing a service to that vendor. On the reverse side, anybody that is a proponent of it would support it.”

He added, “For me, that’s just part of being city manager, you’re going to have proponents and opponents to any divisive issue.”

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