Donna council approves lowering rate for water, sewer service

Some Donna residents will see a savings on their next water bill.

Donna city council members Tuesday unanimously approved reducing the city’s water and sewage rate by 5 percent for customers using more than 6,000 gallons of water per month.

The city’s water and sewage rates were last lowered in February, also by 5 percent.

“One of the major concerns in our city is the water rates,” said Councilwoman Sonia Gallegos. She called the decision “good news” for Donna.

“We’ve come a long way to reduce the burden on the residential side,” said interim City Manager Ernesto Silva during Tuesday’s meeting. “As more businesses move into the community, then we will be able to lower the rates.”

Council members Gallegos, Simon Sauceda and Joey Garza Jr. were in favor of the reduction. Mayor Irene Muñoz and Councilwoman Cathy Alvarado were not present Tuesday.

“I know that this was something that the council had been working toward,” Gallegos said following the vote.

Residents will save an average of about $8 to $10 per month, Silva said.

With new businesses and an increase in traffic through the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge, city leaders were able to reduce the rates, Silva said.

“Sales tax revenue continues to grow,” he said.

City workers are also in the process of upgrading water meters, with only about 10 percent of homes still awaiting the improvements.

Donna residents will be able to see their water consumption in real-time via a phone application once the new meters are completely installed.

“It’s going to change the way we do business for the better,” Silva said, adding he expects the $1.5 million project to be completed this year.

Additionally, the city has recently lowered the tax rate to 79 cents per $100 valuation, according to Silva.

“We are looking forward to continue lowering taxes,” Silva said.