Agua SUD approves new member districts

The way in which customers in western Hidalgo County are represented by the board of directors of the Agua Special Utility District will soon change after the board approved new boundaries for their districts on Monday.

The redistricting was done in accordance with Senate Bill 2552, which was voted into law by the state legislature earlier this year.

The bill stated that each of the seven members of the board would represent “a unique subdistrict, as near as practicable, one-seventh of the total number of residents in the district.”

As it currently stands, three of the seven board directors are county-at-large positions while the other four board directors each represent a different city: Mission, Peñitas, La Joya, and Sullivan City.

The change to single-member districts is meant to spread the representation of their customers more evenly among the board members.

With the new boundaries, each district contains an average of 8,083 people. District 2 — which covers Abram on the south, part of Peñitas to the west, and La Homa on the north side — is the most populous with 8,687 people. District 7 — which covers the southern strip of Agua SUD’s entire service map as well as Sullivan City, Los Ebanos, Cuevitas and Havana — is the least populated with 7,272 people.

The bill requires that the change to single-member districts take effect Dec. 31.

Who will represent District 3, however, remains unclear as Agua Board Member Roger Hernandez, who would have represented District 3, was sworn in as a city commissioner for the city of La Joya following the city elections.

Attorney for Agua SUD, Frank Garza, said the board of directors will address Hernandez’s vacancy during their next board meeting in January.

While the board of directors can choose to appoint somebody to fill the seat, they could also choose to leave the seat vacant until the Agua SUD elections May when that position will be on the ballot.

In addition to the District 3 seat, two other board positions will be up for election in May — District 1 and District 2 —which are currently held by Homer Tijerina and Esequiel “Zeke” Ortiz.