Chickashanews.com

Local News

November 14, 2013

Raising rates could be key to fixing water problem

Some city leaders express misgivings over possible political fallout

CHICKASHA —

Chickasha is facing a flood of problems when it comes to water. 

After a lengthy campaign over a capital improvements tax that inevitably resulted in the tax's renewal, the city is now tasked with a $150 million restructure of Chickasha's water system. 

Mayor Hank Ross has proposed a plan that would stretch this construction over the next 30 years, costing the city $5 million a year. This process would leave Chickasha with new pipe lines, and a revamped water treatment plant. The problem is funding. Even with the CIP renewal, the city is still over $3 million short year-to-year it would need to execute this plan. Now, the city council is on the search for funds, and Tuesday night during a workshop session they broached the topic of raising the water rate in Chickasha. 

"I said all along that if the CIP passes, it will not take care of the whole problem," said Ross. "We are putting a significant investment in our water system from this tax and we need to find the funds to fix it quicker." 

The current fiscal year budget for the next five years calls for a five percent increase in water rates each year. Ross and City Manager Stuart Fairburn agree, this isn't enough and only allows the city to maintain the service as is. 

"We are 40 percent lower in water rates than other cities," said Fairburn. "It will take a combination of CIP, tax rates and bonds to get anything done. We are trying to make up for years and years of things not being done right."

Ross proposed a 20 percent increase in water rates over the next two years, which was met with disdain from multiple council members. Ross said a 20 percent increase equates to a $5 more a month expense for the average resident. 

Text Only
Local News
  • ODOT releases graphic of new bypass plan

    The Oklahoma Department of Transportation in conjunction with civil infrastructure company Leidos is in the right of way purchasing phase of a bypass that would run west of Chickasha. 

    July 28, 2014

  • Opinion: Local woman needs help with cemetery plot

    We have out first call to action of 2014. Last year - and frankly this year too - we covered the water issue with some depth. This week we focused our attention on a new task; a cemetery.

    July 26, 2014

  • WW2 veteran receives thanks from president

    From the large tapestries of the Obamas in his living room, one could say that World War II veteran, Burley Givens, has an appreciation for the president.

    July 26, 2014

  • Troublesome tree

    Situated on a quiet hill just to the southeast of town, Ninnekah Cemetery is a pristine, peaceful place.
    That's the exact reason Faye Barnett's husband, Lloyd, wanted to be buried there.

    July 26, 2014

  • Overview of upcoming Aug. 26 elections

    The 2014-2015 school year will begin with a runoff primary and three special school elections in Grady County on Aug. 26.

    July 25, 2014

  • Ross adds Image Hospice locations to health operation

    Ross Health Care expanded its reach this week with the acquisition of Image Hospice locations in Ponca City and Stillwater. 

    July 25, 2014

  • Dorman wants more done on OK execution case

    Gubernatorial candidate Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) commented on the recent botched execution in Arizona. He said it makes Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett's execution even more suspect and the need for an independent investigation is more apparent. 

    July 25, 2014

  • Sex offender allegedly registers wrong address

    A registered sex offender was caught giving the wrong address as his residence when a Chickasha Police officer carried out a warrant for his arrest.

    July 25, 2014

  • Lincoln School, Miles Brown Chapel granted historic designation

    Applause from a crowded conference room punctuated the historic designation of Lincoln School and the Miles Brown Chapel on July 22.

    July 24, 2014

  • Council divided on wildlife issue

    The Chickasha City Council rejected changes to the city's animal control ordinance that would have required citizens to call private firms to take care of wildlife.

    July 23, 2014