Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

May 6, 2013

Letter to the Editor: Annetta water system

 By Dennis Thompson

ANNETTA — Most people in the United States take water for granted.  But for those of us who have lived in Texas longer than a year or two, we know that water is a precious commodity.  We’ve been through the years of drought, and we know that we are likely to face another hot, dry summer.

One of the main reasons we moved to Parker County was the wide-open spaces and the beautiful trees.  We wanted a home in an established neighborhood with mature trees and a big yard.But in the past two years, we’ve lost a number of trees, and we’ve had to learn about drought-resistant plants just to keep something growing in our front flower bed. 

It was my growing concern over our water that compelled me to volunteer for the Water Advisory Committee. My experience in that process only reinforced how very important Water really is to all of us. 

The Annetta Water Advisory Committee was created to advise the council on “all areas and issues surrounding water and water rights” according to the ordinance adopted by the council in March 2012. During the nine months I chaired the Water Advisory Committee, the members and I looked at every aspect of the water system, carefully analyzed historical data regarding water usage, revenue and expenses, studied the operation of the system and worked to develop a set of comprehensive recommendations for the city council. 

We were fortunate to have folks on the Advisory Committee with expertise in engineering, accounting, finance, legal and regulatory matters. The professional staff at Hudson Oaks, who have managed the system since it was purchased from Willow Park in 2010, also provided invaluable assistance in helping the committee understand the operation of the system. Annetta’s water engineer, Victoria Harkins, also provided a great deal of assistance.

During that same time period, a number of families who are customers of the water system, but not residents of the city, stepped forward to ask to be annexed into the city, so that they would have more input into how their water system is managed. As has been reported, the petition signed by more than 500 local residents was presented to the city council two times, but the motion to move forward with public hearings on the issue died twice for lack of a second. 

The Water Advisory Committee presented its recommendations to the council on Jan. 17. The most significant aspect of that report was the committee’s unanimous recommendation that the current contract with Hudson Oaks remain in place, and a new contract be negotiated for two more years. 

This was because our conservative projections showed that staying with Hudson Oaks would likely result in a surplus of $70,000 to the water system this year, versus a $4,000 loss in just the first year if Annetta had to hire personnel and manage the system in-house.

As is fairly well known, Councilman Larry Wood moved that night to remove me and another member, Traci Fambrough, from the committee. This decision seemed to be largely motivated over unhappiness regarding the annexation issue. With the objection of Councilman Chuck Sheridan, Wood’s motion was approved. 

Whether we all have water – and whether we have a say in how our water system is managed – doesn’t just determine whether our trees will live or die. It directly impacts the value of our homes, the quality of our lives and the future of our community. 

If we manage our water well, our property values will increase, we will be able to water our lawns and take care of our landscaping. Our community will thrive. If we do a poor job with our water resources, we will see many more years of water restrictions, an inability to pay off the debt associated with our water system and eventually the need for taxes as a result of poorly managed public resources. 

Unfortunately, the majority of current council members have done nothing to secure an extended contract with Hudson Oaks and they seem to be working quickly toward moving the operation of the system in-house. Clearly, Annetta is not in a position to take over the operation of the system at this time. 

Needless to say, this deeply concerns me, and it concerns many of my friends and neighbors. As I’ve said, our water is a precious commodity. We cannot afford to mismanage it or play politics with it. Time is of the essence. I hope people are paying attention, or there will be a big price to pay.  A vote for Mayor Bruce Pinckard, Councilman Chuck Sheridan, Kent Stacey and George Ripley will keep us on the right track.

Text Only
Aledo ExtrA
  • IMG_1138.jpg Ride for Heroes a success

    Nearly 1,200 cyclists flooded the roads around East Parker County during Saturday’s 12th annual Moritz Ride for Heroes.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • H. Harris.jpg Aledo ISD School Board Place 7 candidates

    Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is information gathered from the candidates for the Place 7 Aledo ISD trustee race, Hoyt Harris, James Riley Morrison and Debra Rogers.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • D_Davis photo.jpg Aledo ISD School Board Place 6 candidates

    Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is information gathered from the candidates for the Place 6 Aledo ISD trustee race, incumbent David Davis and challenger Farida Goderya.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Anita Callaway.jpg Callaway gets A+

    Anita Callaway, an English teacher at Daniel Ninth Grade Center, was named “Teacher of the Year” during the 2014 Marva Collins Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony held April 15 in the Aledo High School auditorium.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Man dies in Farmer Road crash

    A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. April 15 in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fire victims' fund established

    Two streets down and hours after many members of the East Parker County community gathered April 5 to present a new home built with donations to the Hancock family, another family in the West Oak subdivision lost their home to a fire and is now in need of support from the community.

    April 23, 2014

  • Delay adds $56,000 to Aledo Trail project

    The long delay in the Aledo Trail downtown couplet, now due to finish in summer instead of spring, will add about $56,000 to the cost of the project, Parker County commissioners learned last week, when they approved a change order upping the contract to around $3.3 million.

    April 23, 2014

  • Parker County Sheriff's Report March 31-April 11

    April 11
    Theft of property

    A deputy was dispatched to 8600 Interstate 20 East, Aledo, in reference to a theft investigation. The 57-year-old male complainant said an unknown suspect stole $1,000 of copper wire from the Sprint tower on the site. A case was made for the theft of property: aluminum, bronze, copper and brass.

    April 23, 2014

  • East Parker County Calendar of Events

    April 24
    Bearcats ‘N Boots Gala: dinner, auction and entertainment

    • 6:30 p.m. at Cendera Center, 3600 Benbrook Highway, Fort Worth.
    • Catered by The Wild Mushroom; entertainment by Four Day Weekend.
    • Tickets cost $100.
    • Benefitting the Aledo ISD Education Foundation
    • Title sponsor Buford-Thompson Company.  
    • For more information, go to

    April 23, 2014

  • EXTENSION NEWS: Take a mind vacation

    For many of us, every day has some sort of stress associated with it. Whether it is something at home or at work, it seems like there are a million things stressing us out and making us feel overwhelmed.

    April 20, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video