VAN, Texas (KETK) – After increasing the city’s water rate, Van Mayor Tammy Huff released a statement addressing community concerns and explained why the rates rose.

“I understand that there are citizens who are extremely upset about the new water rates,” Huff said. “I want to explain a few things to help in the understanding of why this is happening.”

Huff said the city has five water wells, but three have been inoperable and irreparable for almost two years now. The previous city manager, according to Huff, ignored the issue and did not want to upset people by digging a new well.

“That’s where we are right now. We are needing to dig a well, we have to raise our water rates in order to finance that well,” said Huff.

Water rates have not been increased in Van since 2014, and Huff said the city can no longer put off digging a new well. The increased rate is being used to finance the new well, and rates are being risen all at once now rather than over time.

“If the previous city administrator had been fiscally transparent with the city, his council, his mayor, and his city workers, everyone would have known that we were in financial trouble,” Huff said. “By financial trouble let me be clear, the city was subsidizing $100,000 to $200,000 a year to offset what the water department was losing in revenue.”

Huff said the city has an “amazing” team working on the issue but it will take time to get out of their current situation. She said the more you use, the more it costs and using more puts more strain on the city’s infrastructure.

“We have two that are working nicely but if anything were to happen we might be in trouble. and they are working 24/7 which causes a lot of wear and tear on the well itself,” Huff said.

Huff said she wants to caution against the following things:

  • Be careful comparing Van to other towns. Our town and people are unique and so are our needs.
  • Facebook is not the place to air grievances if you actually want something changed. If you are looking for an actual solution, please visit City Hall.
  • Remember that the council and all city employees are humans doing a job for you and your town. Your views and opinions can be lost when you verbally attack others.

See the new and previous rates here: