AP NEWS

ECUD to invest in infrastructure

May 7, 2019

Ector County Utility District board members will consider approving purchases that would expand infrastructure and alleviate system deficiencies for their current and future customers in West Odessa.

Board members will hold a meeting at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the district’s board room located at 1039 N. Moss Ave. that is open to the public.

ECUD has extended contracts with the City of Odessa for many services for the district, but they have steadily been working toward becoming a self-sufficient operation for the last three years under the leadership of ECUD President Tommy Ervin. He said the continued growth in West Odessa is pushing the utility district to expand in order to keep up.

Board members will consider authorizing the purchase of multiple tracts of land for a water pump station, above ground storage tanks and ground storage tanks to bring ECUD’s master water plan to life. The master water plan has been approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to accommodate Odessa’s current rate of growth for the next 25 years. The estimated cost to revamp ECUD’s system is $47 million.

Ervin said the system would be funded by a loan from the Texas Water Development Board and ECUD would pay down the loan over 30 years.

“The problem with our system is we have areas that have low volume and low pressures and they have to be fixed,” Ervin said. “We have to come up with an infrastructure, which is the pump station and the elevated tanks, to overcome the volume and the pressure problems.”

He said water pressure levels for some areas of West Odessa are close to being in violation of state law.

The utility district is now recognized as a public water system and has 5,300 customers, serving about 22,000 people in West Odessa. City Public Works Director Tom Kerr said the system has reached a size that indicates a need for more separation from the City, but that process would require bolstering ECUD’s number of personnel, equipment and infrastructure before they are ready to handle operations.

ECUD will also discuss during the meeting the purchase of vehicles and pipe fusion equipment to prepare for when responsibilities like maintenance shift from the City of Odessa to ECUD.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, THE BOARD WILL CONSIDER

>> Authorizing the letting of bids to construct Operations & Maintenance building at 1039 N. Moss Ave.

>> Adopting the personnel policy manual.

>> Approving the financial report for May 8, 2019.

>> Approving the minutes from the April 10, 2019 board meeting.