Taken at face value, residents of Mustang won’t have to worry about not having water through the holidays, based on assurances made by town owner Marsha McKie and businessman Tommy Sinclair.

Digging deeper into the long-term question of how the tiny community will continue to keep the water flowing, is entirely another matter, and one that city officials will need to start working on immediately.

A meeting Monday between the Angus Water Supply Corporation board and representatives of the city of Mustang brought to light a promise by McKie to continue to help Mustang pay its monthly water bill until at least January when a court hearing in McKie’s dealings with Sinclair sheds some light on the next move.

However, Mustang city officials learned that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, is also going to make some requirements on the town to get its water system up to state specifications, including having a licensed operator for the system which currently isn’t on the TCEQ’s books as a water company.

All of these are issues that have come to light after the town and the Angus Water Supply Corporation made the news in light of a possible disconnection of the water service earlier this month when a $3,400 bill had not been paid.

McKie made the payment, and pledged Monday that as long as the bill for the town’s water usage wasn’t any higher, she’d help them pay for water until at least January and her court date with Sinclair over the purchase of the town.

McKie and Mustang officials were told Monday that the next bill, which will fall due Dec. 20, is “less than it was last month,” though declined to say how much less, citing privacy concerns.

Sinclair in turn said his attorney would be presenting District Judge John Jackson with a proposal that, if approved, would allow Sinclair to pay the bill should McKie not do so.

“You can’t evict people five days before Christmas,” Sinclair said, in reference to notices that McKie gave Mustang’s residents last week telling them to prepare to be without water after December 20.

“I gave those notices because I didn’t know what was going to happen,” McKie told those present. “I’m most concerned about my people in the trailer park and what’s going to happen to them.”

Sinclair told the group that he was bringing in enough water meters to be able to install them for the two businesses he has interest in, as well as for the residents of the town, which was met with approval by the Angus utility.

“I’m only going to put the meters in the two clubs until January,” he added.

Mustang currently feeds the town from a single meter belonging to the Angus Water Supply Corporation, and no longer has a valid contract with the utility.

“That is the first thing we need to do is get a new contract,” utility president Jay Mertz told the Mustang officials, adding that is was “critical that the city get water charges up,” to its residents, who are currently paying only $20 per month, according to Mustang’s mayor Jackie Bounds.

“We’ve already talked about that,” Bounds agreed. “We’re working on it.”

Bounds said that Mustang officials would work with the utility in negotiating the new contract, and everyone agreed that until the litigation between McKie and Sinclair is addressed in court in January, little else could be decided upon.

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Bob Belcher may be contacted via e-mail at belcher@corsicanadailysun.com

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