SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – A plan is in the works to improve the water quality in the Laguna Madre area. The Laguna Madre Water District made a public presentation in South Padre Island to spread awareness of a $27 million project coming in the May election. In short, the 2020 tax bond proposal is looking to address water shortage problems and create backup systems in case the district’s only water plant were to fail.
The most noticeable change is restoring a water plant retired in Port Isabel in 2016.
Carlos Galvan Jr. – General Manager Laguna Madre Water District, “That plant was made in the 1950s. So, it’s time. We have done maintenance annually, but this time no more maintenance can be done.”
Galvan says there is a dire need for improvements. During peak times the current water plant produces up to 8 million gallons but consumption estimates say there’s a need for about 11 million. Those shortages have caused water outages during spring break in past years and low pressure to the South Padre Island area.
According to Galvan the restored facility will be able to provide over 5 million more gallons, enough to last the region for decades.
“The water treatment plant that we’re asking for is going to be lasting until 2040. A 20-year period that will comply with all the needs of the growth.” Says Galvan.
If approved, taxes for residents in South Padre Island would increase by up to $146 per year for the next 30 years. Concerned citizens saying the shortage should have been noticed years ago. They say that if the utility is asking for money, to do so directly and not call the proposal a crisis.
Glenn Harrison, citizen, “It looks like these guys are trying to own mistakes of the past in some of the infrastructure that, for lack of a better term, it’s been kicked down the curb a little bit.”
The tax proposal will be decided by voters in the May 2020 election. If approved the project is expecting completion by 2022.