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Letter: Public safety key issue in need for water tower

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letters to the editor feature photoBy now you are probably aware that a jury found in favor of two Saddlebrook homeowners who do not want construction of the Cross Timbers Water Supply elevated water tower in Bartonville completed. The court entered an order requiring the tower to be destroyed. Our legal team has filed a motion requesting that the Court review and modify the judgment or conduct a new trial. Unfortunately, a final decision on the fate of the elevated tower may still be months away.

It is important to note that this litigation only addressed whether or not Cross Timbers Water was subject to the rules of the Saddlebrook Homeowners Association. The litigation did not consider any need for the elevated water tower for firefighting, future domestic water supply or public safety.  These were simply not issues considered in the lawsuit.

Your Board of Directors feels that the Court erred in its interpretation of the Jury’s verdict as well as issues of jurisdiction and public safety.  If homeowners associations were allowed to determine the needs of public utilities, it is unlikely we would have the level of electric, water or telephone service we enjoy today.

To clarify the importance of public safety needs and the rights of the public at large, Cross Timbers Water Supply has asked for a new trial as well as a stay on demolishing the partially completed elevated water tower.

Cross Timbers Water has communicated with the Towns within our certificated area our need for a second water tower for public safety.  Our notices to the Towns began in 2012 and culminated with our most recent determination in 2015.  Cross Timbers is authorized and required to provide water for domestic use within our certificated area.  This 20 square mile area is roughly defined as Copper Canyon, Double Oak, Bartonville, unincorporated areas of Denton County and a small portion of Flower Mound.

Water utilities such as Cross Timbers are specifically exempted by law from any requirement to provide water for fire suppression or firefighting.  Cross Timbers has voluntarily maintained fire hydrants throughout its system for several years.  While not legally required, the Board of Directors has determined that this is a valuable service to its members and will maintain our fire suppression capabilities as long as practical.

In order to meet our mandated domestic water service we will not be adding fire hydrants to new commercial or residential areas.  We will install properly sized water lines and connections for fire hydrants so that fire suppression can be supported when additional elevated storage is available.

Cross Timbers has a well-planned water resource plan which provides safe and clean domestic water throughout our certificated area.  A combination of deep wells and water supply contracts with the Upper Trinity Regional Water District assures that we have an adequate supply of water now and in the future.

While we have an adequate water supply, the ability to deliver that water at good pressure is dependent on elevated tanks.  We designate portions of the current elevated tank to domestic water, firefighting, and emergency supplies.  Since January 2009 we have exhausted the domestic water reserve and used the firefighting reserve for domestic water purposes on 99 occasions.

As development continues in our area, we will continue to dip into the firefighting reserve more frequently.  The additional elevated water tank will allow us to maintain adequate reserves for fire suppression as well as meet our domestic water demands.

You need have no concerns that your domestic water supply is in any danger of interruption or shortage.  A moratorium on new fire hydrants and commercial fire sprinkler systems will enable us to continue our support of the current fire hydrants on our system. We are confident that a positive resolution will be made that will eliminate any need to reduce our support of fire suppression in the future.

Patrick McDonald, President
Cross Timbers Water Supply Board of Directors
Bartonville, TX

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  • Sick of the Nonsense

    Wouldn’t it be ‘interesting’ to see how much ($$$) Cross Timbers Water Supply has spent in this frivolous pursuit of an unnecessary tower …and what does that translate into as increased rates for all members. Fire experts have stated under oath that the tower is not necessary for fire suppression. Mr McDonald…why not come forward with the true costs of this litigation to the average water customer. One can only agree with Flight Serge, it is time for Mr McDonald to go as well as the rest of the board that continues in this illegal and useless pursuit ! WAKE UP Cross Timbers Water Supply customers…CTWSC rates are already the highest in the area and are only going to continue to go up ! Membership needs to file a petition with the CTWSC Board requesting that they cease this nonsense and build ground storage as originally proposed for this site, and stop wasting members money !

  • Flight Serge

    This is so disappointing.
    Mr. McDonald continues his practice of deception to get his illegal
    water tower. He is not a water expert
    but tries to sound like one. He is simply a citizen/member who is elected to
    the board. Again he tries to scare the public with his lies about fire suppression. Several years ago the water company told the
    Town of Bartonville that water for fire suppression was not their concern. The Town paid to add needed fire hydrants to the
    water company’s system to improve public safety. $$$$$$$$ Years later the water company gets
    approval from the Town to build ground storage tanks to increase their
    capacity. These ground storage tanks are
    commonly used everywhere. Then, out of the
    blue, the water company begins to build a water tower instead of the approved
    ground storage tanks. The Town tries to stop the unapproved construction. The
    water company sues the Town saying they are exempt from the rules. $$$$$$$$ There
    is no mention of water for fire suppression from the water company. The water
    company sticks to their guns on being exempt from the rules. Time rolls on and finally the Judge,
    incorrectly, rules in favor of the water company. The Judge surprisingly made
    his ruling without hearing all the facts. The appeals court swiftly overturned
    the Judge’s ruling and said the water company IS NOT exempt from the
    rules. The State Supreme court agreed
    with the appeals court by refusing to hear the case. $$$$$$$$$ Suddenly the water company changes
    gears to fire suppression. They go full speed with a misinformation campaign of
    needing the water tower to put out fires. The water company tries to get the
    Fire Department and the Emergency Services District on their side but fail
    because the water company’s lies and tactics are obvious. Mr. McDonald even tried to interfere with the member’s homeowner’s insurance ratings by claiming the lack of the tower made it unsafe. The insurance people saw his lies and ignored him. It’s a scare campaign to try and sway public
    opinion. It doesn’t work. The trial jury saw through the lies and so
    did the judge. The water company loses
    again. $$$$$$$$ The courts have repeatedly said the water tower is illegal for
    many different reasons yet the water company continues to spend member’s money
    on lawyers. $$$$$$$$$ The water company should build the ground storage they
    planned in the first place but Mr. McDonald will lie and say it isn’t enough. It is enough. Now the water company has appealed again. $$$$$$$$$
    This is going too far. The water company board president is wasting our member’s
    hard earned money because he’s a poor loser. He is not a water expert. It appears we need new board members to stop
    this nonsense. Mr. McDonald you should be ashamed of wasting our money. Time
    for you to move on.

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