© 2022 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Castle Hills Council Urging San Antonio Officials To Oppose The Vista Ridge Pipeline

San Antonio Water System
The 142-mile Vista Ridge pipeline would transport water from Burleson County to San Antonio.

The Castle Hills City Council is sending a message to San Antonio:  it thinks the Vista Ridge water pipeline proposed by the San Antonio Water System, SAWS, is a bad deal. 

Tuesday night the suburban council voted 3 to 2 for a resolution opposing the 142-mile pipeline that would transport water from Burleson County to the Bexar County area.

SAWS is owned by the City of San Antonio.  San Antonio council members will decide next week whether to support a 50-percent rate increase over five years in water and sewer rates, to pay for the Vista Ridge pipeline.

Castle Hills citizens also get their water from SAWS, so the decision will affect their rates, too.

Castle Hills Council Member Leslie Wenger believes the rate increase is out-of-line, and says it will disproportionately hike the cost of water in her community where the properties are typically larger.

“We’re not an average household.  So it’s going to be much more excessive than a 50 percent (increase) by 2020, much, much higher,” said Wenger.

Castle Hills Councilmember Douglas Gregory also went on record opposing the Vista Ridge pipeline.  He’s a stock broker familiar with bond markets.  He’s concerned that pipeline contractor Abengoa doesn’t have a stellar financial rating.

“It seems to be if you’re building a project of over $3 billion dollars, you’d want the soundest company- soundest financially- that has the best reputation.  And that’s not the impression I got that this company was that,” said Gregory.

Gregory and Wenger say they want to go on record as opposing the pipeline before San Antonio council members vote on rates. They want San Antonio officials to realize their decision will affect other communities that buy water from SAWS.

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.