By Judy Sheridan
An open house for city residents is in the planning stages, city officials say, but for March 11, 2013, the actual date that Fort Worth surface water began coursing through the City of Aledo’s water system, officials staged a low-key celebratory photo shoot inside the new water tower.
Water actually began flowing earlier in the morning, officials said, but Mayor Kit Marshall and Mayor Pro Tem Bill McLeRoy “turned the wheel” at the tower’s base around 11 a.m., officially marking a new era with enough water power to sustain future growth.
Marshall, McLeRoy, City Administrator Ken Pfeifer, Public Works Director Gordon Smith and even Marshall’s grandson, 9-month-old Ian, were all smiles.
Aside from a main that broke in front of Aledo Middle School, shut down for spring break, the changeover appears to have gone smoothly.
“I had to monitor the old system as the pressure increased,” Smith said, explaining why visitors were not invited to watch the actual event. “I had to isolate part of the system, because I had a main line break. One break is very positive for this type transition.”
Until this point, city water customers have depended on city wells, which will still supply about 20 percent of the volume, Pfiefer said,
“Our goal is 100 percent surface water with the wells as a backup, but we’re not there yet,” he said. “The city now has two water sources.”
Council member Jean Bailey, who lives on Aledo’s south side, joked about not noticing any difference in the water’s taste when she was contacted a day later.
“It’s kind of disappointing,” she said with a laugh. “It should taste like champagne with all we’re paying for it. I’m looking forward to having more houses to pay for it.”
Bailey, who was a member of the planning and zoning board when the city council voted to contract with Fort Worth in 2006, credits Marshall with the vision to anticipate future problems.
“An earlier administration turned a blind eye,” she said.
Mayor Pro Tem Bill McLeRoy agreed that the transition seemed to be going well.
“I haven’t heard any comments on it so far from anyone,” he said.