Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Local News

March 7, 2013

Gooden files legislation to fight water monopoly


AUSTIN-State Representative Lance Gooden has filed two pieces of pro-consumer water utility legislation in an effort to bring relief to water customers across House District 4. The bills, HB 1456 and HB 1457, were filed to address the excessive rate practices of out-of-state investor-owned water utilities (IOUs) like Monarch Water. "Unlike city water utilities and water supply corporations, these IOUs are not accountable to voters living in areas they serve," stated Rep. Gooden.

Under the current law, a municipality can initiate and contest a rate increase proposed by an IOU on behalf of its citizens. However, ratepayers in an unincorporated area are forced to raise their own funds to fight against a well-funded company for the right to affordable drinking water.

"I believe this is wrong. HB 1456 would level the playing field and allow a county to initiate and intervene in a contested rate case on behalf of its citizens living in an unincorporated area," said Gooden. "I really appreciate Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders for joining me, along with the entire Henderson County Commissioner's Court, in supporting this legislation."

Representative Gooden's second bill addresses the legal expenses incurred by an IOU if its ratepayers contest a proposed rate increase. Under the current law, IOUs are allowed to pass legal expenses onto its ratepayers if the IOU wins a rate case.

"This law only serves to discourage the consumer from contesting a rate increase," said Gooden. "With HB 1457, I'm seeking to reduce the amount an IOU can pass along to its ratepayers."

"For too long these monopolistic companies like Monarch have been fleecing citizens across Texas with exorbitant rates while consistently applying for rate increases," Gooden continued. "These practices are currently allowed under Texas law, and the IOUs would, obviously, like to keep the laws the way they are."

Rep. Gooden acknowledged his legislation will face tough opposition in the House by a well-funded lobby bankrolled by companies like Monarch Water.

Text Only
Local News
  • ADR logo.tif Malakoff ISD adding school bus

    The Malakoff Independent School District approved the purchase of a new bus during Monday's school board meeting.
    By unanimous decision, the board approved the purchase of a bus for $94,199, with funds from the Henderson County Shared Services Agreement.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • dwayne garner003.jpg 29th annual PRCA event scheduled for April 25-26

    The Cedar Creek Lake Veterans Foundation is gearing up for this year's air show — Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake. This is the 11th annual event to be held on Saturday, July 5 at Cedar Creek Lake.
    The event will start with a benefit golf tournament on Monday, May 12 at Pinnacle Golf Club.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Hensarling 0109.jpg Hensarling addresses residents’ concerns

    U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling was in Athens Tuesday for a town hall meeting to update the citizens of Henderson County on his continued efforts to hold Washington accountable to the American people.
    Held at the Henderson County Senior Citizens Center, more than 50 people attended with a plethora of questions for the congressman.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23 Comm. court.JPG County commissioners openly appreciated

    The Henderson County Commissioners Court moved quickly through a routine agenda on Tuesday.
    First item of business not on the agenda, was for the Commissioners to accept a “Thank You” plaque for their donation to the 2014 Henderson County Livestock Show.
    The five commissioners each donated $500 of their personal money towards the gate fees for the show.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-22 BBR.JPG Black Beauty Ranch holds educational spring open house

    Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch and Doris Day Equine Center hosted their Spring Open House on April 12 and April 19.  Located in Murchison, these entities are both non-profit organizations that specialize in rescue, adoption and providing sanctuary to the unadoptable.

    April 22, 2014 10 Photos

  • 4-22 CROSS CARRIER.JPG Celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ

    Jeremiah Roberts portrays Jesus Christ as he carries a cross down Mill Run Road enroute to the Henderson County Square, to re-enact Christ’s resurrection.  Hitting him with instruments to illustrate the inhumanity of the day were Tramaine Jordan and C.J. Douglas.  Also helping in the effort were Joyce Coleman, Amanda Jordan and a child, Rychis Douglas.  All are members of Petersburg Baptist Church.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif In the voter’s hands

    Elections have come and gone for years without the Athens Municipal Water Authority getting much attention. But this year, the fate of the entity is in the balance.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif CCL Rotary offers non-profit grants

    The Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake offers a wide variety of grants to local non-profit organizations in Henderson County  and Kaufman County.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-22 Sharp arrest.jpg Man arrested near GBC for resisting

    The Henderson County Sheriff's Department responded to a disturbance involving an assault on Friday, April 18 at about 4:38 a.m. The assault occurred in the 100 block of Wedgewood Loop in the Oak Harbor Subdivision near Gun Barrel City.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2726192_300x300.jpg Darin Karl found Thursday on Cedar Creek Lake

    The body of a 42-year-old man who had been missing in Cedar Creek Lake was recovered on Thursday.
    The drowning victim was identified as Darin Lynn Karl of Kemp. According to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt, Karl and his nephew were fishing near Cedar Creek Country Club when the boat overturned, ejecting the men. 

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo