The elections have been over for three months now and we will soon be seeing the impacts. In just a few days the smoking ban will go into effect, and we will finally see the impact this ban will have on local businesses. I hope the small neighborhood bars can weather this storm.
We also had a hint of the impact the Hickory water project will have on the local economy. They finally admitted in the last city council meeting that city water bills will have to go up by an average of $10 to $20 just to pay for the construction of the project. That is before they actually throw the switch and start pumping Hickory water. When that happens, if the city estimates are close, another $10 to $20 will have to be added to our water bills to pay for the utilities, people to operate the system, and everything else it takes to operate and maintain this project for the next 30 years. This doesn't take into account the fact that we're likely going to be draining the aquifer faster than it can recharge. We will probably have to fight lawsuits from the people who live over the aquifer whose wells are going dry. We might actually still have water there when we pay off the loan.
I'm sure some of you want to know who made this all possible, and the simple answer would be to check the campaign finance reports. They are on the city website under the city clerk's election section. All of Speak Out San Angelo's reports are there. Unfortunately both Smoke Free San Angelo and Citizens for San Angelo's Future are late with their required January 15 semi-annual filing. Hopefully, they will correct that ASAP. Once you check those reports, I'm sure you will know the appropriate way to thank everyone involved.