Rockwall Herald-Banner (Texas)

Local News

June 3, 2014

Rockwall council addresses concerns over water conservation

ROCKWALL — Monday night’s Rockwall City Council meeting saw the heated debate over the efforts to conserve water in Rockwall County come to a peak.

City Manager Rick Crowley reminded the board that the NTMWD had voted to extend Stage 3 conservation measures in Rockwall County through September, continuing to recommend that citizens only water their lawns or plants once every two weeks.

The goal set by the NTMWD was a 10 percent change in consumption reduction for all cities in Rockwall County. Crowley explained that through April, Rockwall residents had achieved 17 percent consumption reduction over that goal, citing “a few good rains” and “the voluntary cooperation of our customers.”

However, Crowley suggested the city’s ability to continue to meet their goals will become more difficult in the summer months, especially as the NTMWD is considering raising conservation standards to 15 or 20 percent. As such, he introduced two “tiers” of action produced by the city staff to take during the summer months to ensure that all standards were met.

Crowley’s first tier proposes educating the citizens and businesses of Rockwall about the conservation efforts and talking with them about how they can help the city meet them. Suggested actions include moving toward manual hose watering rather than automatic sprinkling and potentially implementing “water days,” days when watering is allowed with all other days prohibited.

Crowley’s second proposed tier would only come into effect if conservation standards were not met in the month of June, but it would introduce more strenuous measures. This tier would include stricter monitoring, mandatory water days, the discontinuation of watering the city’s medians facility lawns, encouraging RISD to discontinue watering school lawns and prohibiting car washing at home and for charity events.

Assistant City Manager Mary Smith then took the stand to explain the financial impact of the city’s water conservation efforts to this point and the financial projection going forward. She explained that water rates were forced to be raised 10 percent at the opening of this year due to reduced sales, and projected that if current water conservation methods were continued, water sales projections will be missed by $1.3 million. Such a deficit would likely lead to another increase in water rates, forcing all of Rockwall’s citizens to pay more for their water.

Mayor Pro Tem Jim Pruitt pointed out that Rockwall’s water rates have been increased by 31 percent in the last three years.

“I want to go on record and say that until such a time that the district puts other cities that are not making their goals and that are allowing their customers to water every week now, we seem to be taking the brunt of the conservation measures and really not getting anything for it ... and the district has no way of punishing those cities that choose not to go along with the rest of us,” Pruitt said. “So there comes a point where the rest of us say ‘Look, not only are we not being able to water our plants, we’re having to fund the infrastructure for all this water we can’t use where other cities are not and are still allowing their citizens are still watering their yards.’

“I think there comes a time when we’re going to say enough is enough. Until you do something, district, to make other cities conform to this, we’re not going to go along with it.”

Crowley was quick to point out that only a couple cities in the county were failing to comply, but councilmember Dennis Lewis retorted that “they’re not making them.” Crowley decided he would take this information back with him to the city staff and they would discuss adjustments to be made at the next council meeting.

In addition to the water debate, Rob Dixon explained how the work on the Downtown Rockwall Improvement Project is coming along as planned, with the exception of a slight hiccup that will cause a portion of road to be completed behind schedule. He noted that the entirety of the project is slated to be completed in June 2015.

Also, the council unanimously approved the closing of select lanes on FM 740 from Summer Lee Drive to the south city limits of Heath, in order for the annual U.S. Open Triathlon to take place without issues. The council urged that communication be effective between affected parties so as to avoid any transgressions that took place in years’ past.

Text Only
Local News
  • bell.gif Fallen public safety officers to be remembered Sunday

    Three fallen public safety professional from Rockwall County will be recognized and remembered Sunday during a Rockwall County Public Safety Appreciation Day service at Trinity Baptist Church in Royse City.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moran, Ethan CROPPED219.jpg Final report still pending in Moran death

    It’s been three months since 12-year-old Ethan Moran of Heath was found dead from an apparent fatal gunshot wound. However, Terry Garrett, director of DPS for the City of Heath, says no new information has been made available to his department.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local sales tax rebate numbers exceeding pace set in 2013

    With a very positive month of sales tax refunds in the month of May, Rockwall County has now pulled ahead of the pace from a year ago, as the local economy continues to be in good health.

    July 18, 2014

  • 4x2 whatshappening 1.jpg What's Happening

    Here’s a look at what’s on tap in Rockwall County. To add your event, send an email to Cliff Gibson, Editor, at

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • rockwall isd.jpg RISD culinary instructor earns Educator Excellence Award

    The Texas Restaurant Association recently honored Chef Cody Hayes from Rockwall ISD as the 2014 Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation Educator Excellence Award recipient.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • LPMC00146TST.JPG Lake Pointe launches inpatient substance abuse withdrawal service

    Lake Pointe Medical Center (LPMC) is taking steps to address a pervasive unmet community health need. 
    On July 16, the hospital began offering BreakThru services. The BreakThru service is the first of its kind in Dallas and addresses the distinct needs of patients seeking to take the first step toward breaking the cycle of alcohol and drug abuse.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_6764.JPG Crawfish Fest raises more than $7,000 for YMCA's Angel Camp

    Dodie’s Cajun Diner at The Harbor, under the ownership of Mike McRae and Gabe Nicolella, recently presented a check for more than $7,200 to the Angel Camp program at the JER Chilton YMCA at Rockwall.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7:16 Burned hay bales.jpg Reward offered for info on local hay fires

    A Waco-based hay distributor says vandals are to blame for a number of large hay bale stacks destroyed by fire in recent weeks.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • boys and girls club logo.jpg Meeting set to discuss rebranding at B&G Club

    A community forum will be held July 23 to discuss the possibility of “rebranding” the Royse City branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Rockwall County as a teen club.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • City of Fate.jpg Fate landowner asks council to partner with Royse City

    An owner of more than 400 acres of land on the south side of Interstate 30 has called for Fate City Council members to establish a strong, positive working relationship with Royse City.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads

Now that summer has officially begun, what's your favorite summer activity?

Cooking on the grill
No school
     View Results
Must Read
Gas Prices
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
House Ads
Royal Wedding Live