The Agua Special Utility District will start off the new year with a dramatically reduced service fee for new customers and a newly appointed executive director.
During their latest meeting Wednesday, the Agua SUD board voted to reduce the cost of their impact fee from $1,727 to $150. The Impact Fee is among the fees charged to connect property to an Agua SUD meter so residents can receive water and Agua SUD can monitor their usage.
The Agua SUD website states the Impact Fee is one of five one-time service fees the district charges to establish water service on new properties. These include a $50 deposit, $20 for an inspection, $475 for a water meter and $1,900 for water rights totaling $4,172. With the reduced impact fee, that total now stands at $2,595.
Newly appointed Executive Director Oscar Cancino said the reduced fees would make it easier for residents to move into the area.
“We have a total of 15,000 connections in eastern Hidalgo County but since 2012 we’ve only had a stagnant growth rate of one and a-half percent per year,” Cancino said after the meeting. “With this new fee, we can spur new movement into the area.”
The Agua SUD board also voted to appoint Cancino as their executive director. Cancino was initially appointed as Agua SUD’s interim executive director in October following the sudden resignation of the previous executive director, Julio Cerda during a special board meeting held in September. During that meeting, Cerda presented his two-weeks notice to the board but the board voted to immediately render his resignation.
The motion appoint Cancino to head the utility was brought forward by Board President Rogelio Hernandez III who praised Cancino’s role as interim director.
“Since he first came in he’s been implementing new ideas and working well with all our projects,” Hernandez said during the meeting. “If we had decided to go with a different executive director, it would’ve felt hard to change after getting used to Cancino.”
After the meeting, Cancino said he was surprised by the board’s appointment.
“I’m a little speechless,” Cancino said. “My main concern when I was first brought to the board was just to help with the transition. I’m very thankful the board has brought me onto this new capacity.”