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Hays, Russell Officials Discuss R9 Ranch Development

Toby Dougherty speaks to Russell City Council 4-15-14Hays officials were in Russell Tuesday to discuss with the Russell City Council development of the R9 Ranch wellfield in Edwards County as a regional water source.

Hays City Commissioners submitted a letter of intent to the Russell City Council a couple weeks ago asking the Council's support of development of the R9 Ranch. Currently, Hays and Russell jointly own the wellfield, with Russell claiming 18 percent. Until now though, serious development measures have never been taken.

Hays City Manager Toby Dougherty says the project will cost an estimated $65 million.

Dougherty went on to say he expects it to be about a five to 15 year process.

Russell City Councilmembers were receptive Tuesday to Dougherty's thoughts, but as Councilman Chuck Bean explains, the 2000 acre feet of water Russell owns in Cedar Bluff Reservoir could be used as a more immediate fix.

Councilman GJ Long agreed.

Dougherty though did not fully agree, saying Cedar Bluff is not reliable in his opinion.

No action was taken Tuesday on the letter of intent agreement.

Another topic discussed at the meeting was the ongoing water rate study. The Council did not take official action, but the consensus was to move forward with a rate adjustment option that will raise water rates for residential, commercial and industrial water users based on a usage percentage over three years.

Also Tuesday, Councilmembers Richard Cross and Michelle Wagner took their oaths of office for the Council. Cross is a new member and Wagner won re-election on April 1. Jim Cross and Paul Phillips were absent Tuesday.

4-15-14 City Council Oaths

Outgoing Councilmen Larry Daugherty and Tony Witt were recognized for their service.

4-15-14 Larry Daugherty honored  4-15-14 Tony Witt honored

CLICK HERE for the March 18 meeting minutes. The April 15 meeting minutes will be made available when they are released.

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