City of Forney to perform maintenance and operations for Markout WSC effective April 1

 

FORNEY, Texas — The Forney City Council approved two items on Tuesday night which would allow negotiations with Markout Water Supply Corporation and to determine the feasibility of a cooperative wastewater distribution and collection system with the City of Terrell.

The Forney City Council unanimously approved a resolution confirming a cooperative agreement with the City of Terrell to determine the feasibility of a regional wastewater distribution and collection system between the two cities. The City of Terrell has agreed to fund the cost of the feasibility study which will be presented to the Terrell City Council for approval.

The Forney City Council also unanimously approved entering into negotiations with Markout Water Supply Corporation (WSC) to determine the feasibility of the City of Forney providing water service to a portion of Markout WSC’s service area, including the service area within the city limits of Forney.

Markout WSC, faced with the rising cost of utilities and infrastructure, would likely be absorbed into one, or a combination, of three surrounding entities — the City of Forney, the City of Mesquite, and Talty WSC for which Markout is currently considering a merger.

According to city officials speaking to inForney.com, the proposal would likely consist of areas in the city limits of Forney currently being serviced by Markout and areas likely to be annexed in the near future such as the proposed Wynne-Jackson development across from the Grayhawk subdivision on Farm-to-Market (FM) 548.

Markout currently has a long-term “take-or-pay” contract with the City of Forney to purchase water through the North Texas Municipal Water District at-cost with a 63 percent markup — which results in a higher water bill for Forney residents living within Markout’s service area.

With the approval from council, city staff will begin the process of determining the feasibility, negotiating with the surrounding districts, and formulating a plan to present to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) of Texas which is charged with regulating public utilities in the state.

“The number one job in this community is to make sure we service the citizens with water,” stated Forney Mayor Rick Wilson. “We’re simply trying to enter into negotiations to do the best thing for the community.”

“In order for us to agree to anything with Markout, Talty, the City of Mesquite, it has to go to the Public Utilities Commission in Austin,” stated Wilson. “At the end of the day, we are all going to sit down at the table, the four of us, and try to discuss what’s best for all of our communities.”

Several years ago, the City of Forney had researched the feasibility of absorbing a portion of Markout Water Supply Corporation’s Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN), which grants the CCN holder exclusive rights to provide water and/or sewer utility services, but ultimately did not take formal action.

Proponents of the measure say they would like to see the same water rates as others living within the city limits of Forney.