Perry Vetoes Bill Enabling Small Texas Town to Control Its Water

Jun 26, 2013

Roy Thornhill Sr. (center) voices his concern as residents of the City of Blue Mound, Texas, gather at their community center, on Monday, March 4, 2013. The small North Texas City of Blue Mound held a town hall meeting on Monday, March 4, for its residents to sign a petition against what they say are unjustifiably high water rate increases.

State Impact Texas reported Governor Rick Perry recently vetoed a bill, that would have made it easier for the small town of Blue Mound, Texas, to obtain the right to control its own water system.   Water services are currently provided by a private company, Monarch Utilities. 

House Bill 1160 was introduced by Republican State Representative Charlie Gerens.  Gerens said he was not contacted by the governor's office, and had no idea there were issues with the bill.   "[Perry] obviously had somebody too stupid to read a three-page bill advising him," Geren said.  In a statement accompanying the veto, Perry that state infrastructure is a focus.  This bill would have provided a disincentive for private utility development.  The statement also made note of the issue's pending litigation.

Blue Mound mayor, Allen Hooks, said the issue Blue Mound residents have with Monarch is rates have increased 62% since 2005; local water bills are twice that of neighboring communities.