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Odessa, Fort Stockton continue test well negotiations
[January 25, 2013]

Odessa, Fort Stockton continue test well negotiations

Jan 25, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Progress remains slow on the drilling of a test water well in Fort Stockton as City of Odessa and Fort Stockton officials continue negotiating interlocal agreements.

"Everything's moving forward but it's a large project, so this agreement's going to be large," Fort Stockton City Manager Raul Rodriguez said. "We're passing the terms back and forth. When we feel good about the terms we'll take it to the (City) Council." Rodriguez said he hopes to have interlocal agreements settled and presented to the Fort Stockton Council before the end of February.

The Fort Stockton Council will meet Feb. 11 and Feb. 25.

The drilling of a test water well in Fort Stockton was first approved by the Odessa Development Corp. in September.

Since the initial approval, the Odessa City Council approved Tuesday to increase ODC funding to $3 million for the project.

The test water well and post-well study will determine if Fort Stockton groundwater from the Capitan Reef Aquifer is better quality than groundwater the City of Odessa is buying from the Colorado River Municipal Water District's well fields in Ward County, which is also above the Capitan Reef.

Fort Stockton has awarded a $2.3 million bid to Hydro Resources, but drilling cannot begin until interlocal agreements are approved.

In previous interviews with the Odessa American, Odessa City Manager Richard Morton said delays have occurred in part due to negotiations between the two cities.

Morton said if additional water wells are feasible, Odessa would begin buying 10 million gallons of water daily from Fort Stockton and later increase deliveries to 50 million gallons of water daily.

Odessa officials are requesting a refund be guaranteed from Fort Stockton if the Middle Pecos Groundwater District does not approve of the 50 million gallons of daily water deliveries, Morton said.

"They have expressed that (interest), but I can't go into any details," Rodriguez said. "We are looking at that and coming up with options to satisfy them." MPGD General Manager Paul Weatherby said he does not know which direction the 11-member board is leaning toward.

"I have no idea," Weatherby said. "All that information that's going to come to us, the board has to make the decision on the application." Contact Lyxan Toledanes on twitter @OAcitylife, on Facebook at OA Lyxan Toledanes, or call 432-333-7786.

___ (c)2013 the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas) Visit the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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