BALLINGER – In a bold move, not made in the recent past, the Ballinger City Council voted to lower water rates for residential customer beginning June 15.

BALLINGER – In a bold move, not made in the recent past, the Ballinger City Council voted to lower water rates for residential customer beginning June 15.

The council unanimously voted to lower water rates during their meeting on Monday, June 5. The current water rates are $40 for the first 3000 gallons and $7.80 every 1,000 gallons thereafter. The rate per 1,000 gallons will be lowered to $5.80, which is a 25 percent decrease, City Manager Bryan Grimes said.

Currently, Lake Ballinger is full, and when the hot weather begins, evaporation begins. Grimes said he would rather encourage residents to water, rather than it simply evaporating.

“We recognize we need to do our part,” Grimes said. “We haven’t seen much evaporation yet, but we thought we could give our residents a break on their water bill to keep the grass green and flowers planted.”

The lower rates apply to residential customers only, which is about 77 percent of the city’s customer base.

Grimes said the city would keep the lower rate in place from June 15 to September 15.

“We are going to look at the rates every month to see if we can extend the program,” Grimes said.

Residents will be able to see the difference beginning with their July water bill, he said. The new rate goes into effect on June 15.

“Due to the recent rains, we can do this on the short term,” Grimes said.

The lake has been at 100 percent for about four months. Grimes said the city is still on target with the Lake Fort Phantom water project, in which the city will receive 400,000 gallons of water a day from Lake Fort Phantom.

In January, the city was approved for a $3 million grant from the Texas Water Development Board, which is for the design and development portion of the project.

In March of 2016, the city applied for a $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase 1,250 acre feet of water from Lake Fort Phantom through the City of Clyde and for a 75-mile pipeline to transport the water to Ballinger

“But there is nothing new to report,” Grimes said.

In other business Monday:

*The council discussed taking action on the contract with Republic Disposal for garbage services. Grimes said the council had several points in the contract that needed to be clarified. The bid was approved at the last city council meeting.

*The council tabled discussion of proposed contracts for a community alert system.