$139 million dollars. That's how much the city of Killeen will be paying to keep water flowing into homes for the next 20 years.
That number is so high because they expect the population to keep growing and those people are going to need homes. That means the budget for more infrastructure needs to be set now before it's too late.
The City Council voted unanimously to approve the new water master plan. Sounds like a lot of money, but when water keeps a city going, Killeen's Mayor says you have to invest. "Just the replacement costs of the sewer pipes in the city of Killeen are $280 million. So when you've got an investment like that you've gotta spend about a few million a year to refurbish and renovate those and keep them operating smoothly," says Dan Corbin, Mayor of Killeen.
The city hired an outside agency to study growth patterns and to estimate how much infrastructure would be needed in the future. Taking into consideration something most people don't think about on a daily basis. "It's a very valuable asset that's never seen because its under ground or its a water tower that you drive by everyday that you don't pay attention to. but what really does make a difference is when you turn the water on in the morning to make a fresh cup of coffee,"says Terry Clark, Killeen City Council Member, District 3.
The plan is just a blue-print since these projections might not stay the same. But the city isn't taking any risks. "It's extremely important that cities plan for the future. Those that do not are overcome by events and they run into water shortages and water rationing and we've not had to endure those hardships here in Killeen because we've had good planning and water availability thanks to our forefathers," says Mayor Corbin .
The city will purchase bonds from lenders and those will be paid off by the money residents pay for water and sewage.
Reporter: Tania Ortega
Photographer: Richard Bowes