Watts to share water with RWD#5

WATTS, Okla. -- The Watts Board of Trustees and Water Authority approved a resolution to share water with neighboring Rural Water District 5 during the special meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

The trustees agreed to run a line from the town's water tower to RWD#5 to help them with its water shortage issue. The trustees voted 4-1, with Trustee Bob Holley voting against the resolution.

According to Terry Woods, the Southern Delaware County Regional Water Authority superintendent, the SDCRWA has been looking at Watts' line and can afford to spare some water for RWD#5, which is suffering from a water shortage due to indeterminate leaks in its water pipes.

Woods proposed that the town sell water for 0.50 per 1,000 gallons to RWD#5. Woods said the SDCRWA would monitor Watts' water tower and shut off the transfer if the water levels were too low.

"I don't want to do anything that's going to hurt the town of Watts," Woods said.

Holley objected to the resolution, saying he received many phone calls from citizens who said several chicken farmers had a connection to the water line but were not paying for their water.

"It goes straight there, and (Watts' citizens) pay a flat rate," Holley said. "Each of those big long homes uses 5,000 gallons a day, a million gallons a month."

Holley said he received the information from a source he did not name and believed the number was higher than what he was given. Holley also said that Tim Shephard, the former director of public works for the town, opposed other communities' having access to the town's water.

Vickie Hanvey, the secretary and treasurer for RWD#5, said she did not want to rob Peter to pay Paul.

"I don't want people in Watts to be without water," Hanvey said. "I don't want our district to be without water. So ultimately, I think our joint goal would be that everyone has sufficient clean water, from whatever source that happens to be."

Following more discussion, the trustees voted to approve the resolution. The trustees also voted to appoint Deborah Deshane to the board of trustees and water authority.

The trustees then adjourned, and the water authority met. The water authority voted to approve the resolution to sell water to RWD#5 by a vote of 4-1, with Holley voting against the resolution, and also appointed DeShane to the water authority.