Owning the pipeline will bring new opportunities to the city and reduce the impact on residents’ wallets.
MIDLAND, Texas — Water is a resource West Texans take for granted, and the City of Midland is working to keep up our resources by agreeing to take on ownership of a very important pipeline.
The T-Bar pipeline brings water to Midland all the way from Winkler County at the T-Bar Ranch.
“We needed to get water to the city quickly and effectively, the city owned T-Bar, which was a great source of water, water that could last us 100 years but we had no way to access it,” said Jack Ladd, Midland City Council Member for District 3.
About 10 years ago the Midland City Council at the time decided they needed a pipeline to bring the water into the city, and they got some help.
“Midland County Fresh Water District allowed us in 2011 to complete a project quickly, they were able to build that infrastructure within a year and give Midland access to water that we desperately needed,” said City Council Member for District 4, Lori Blong.
The cost to build the pipeline? $250 million dollars.
“They built that for us, they incurred the debt and as a result we benefitted from that water and over time the bond ratings changed and they started to associate that debt with the Fresh Water District’s debt, with our debt, the city’s debt, so it no longer benefitted the city,” said Ladd.
The city is now fully responsible for the debt, which is actually a good thing.
“It was debt we already incurred, it was just in someone else’s name,” said Ladd. He continued, “There was no reason for us to not take it on because now we can refinance it like you would your house so it made a better deal for the city to take on those assets.”
This saves the City of Midland money and the people in it.
“This is going to save your average citizen money on their water bill no question, and it’ll save the city two million dollars from having to build a water tower,” said Ladd.
Owning the pipeline also allows new opportunities for water in the city
“We can actually have increased water taps for the construction of houses and businesses on the west side of Midland,” said Blong.