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Port Arthur City Manager hopes to repair city water lines
PORT ARTHUR- by Lauren Huet
Creating revenue without raising taxes is an obstacle Port Arthur City Council is working to overcome. If it doesn't find a solution, Council estimates water and sewer spending will exceed the city's anticipated revenue by $5 million next year.
Port Arthur City Manager Floyd Johnson said the aging water system needs repairs. It's leaking water and bleeding money.
"Only about 40 percent of the water we produce is actually being paid for because that's what's going through the meter," said Johnson. "We have about 60 percent of the water we produce that unfortunately is going into the ground into a drainage system or into our sewer system."
City Council has taken the first step in repairing the water lines by voting to spend 500 thousand dollars in next year's budget to run a leak detection test. Council has other challenges to meet as well. It added 50 thousand dollars to next year's budget for public works, and 25 thousand dollars more for the library.
In order to match a grant the police and fire department received, it will transfer about 250 thousand dollars from the General Fund to the Police and Fire Department Equipment Replacement Fund.
The Council voted for next year's budget to be a little more than 62 million dollars.