FGE pulls out of water contract with Mitchell County


ABILENE, Texas - Mitchell County residents who were concerned about an electric company buying water from the county no longer have to worry. Tuesday, FGE pulled the proposed water sale contract from the discussion.

Citizens were worried that the plant would draw water from the Dockum Aquifer to cool the natural gas power plant. This aquifer is also the main water source for the county, which goes to feeding livestock, watering crops, and providing drinking water for those residents.

Mitchell County Judge Ray Mayo received a call Tuesday from CEO of FGE Texas Emerson Farrell explaining the change.

"He said there was so much dissension among the court and among the people here that he thought it would be best to take it off the table," Mayo said.

The initial contract, which would have put the county in competition with residents for selling water to FGE, was not well received by all of the Mitchell County commissioners at Monday's meeting.

Now that FGE will not be purchasing water from the county, water sales would have to go through private individuals.

According to the Economic Development Board, the plant is still going to be built and will bring positive change to the county.

"It's something close to $13 million in input into the community in gasoline sales, sales of food supplies, and restaurants," said development board director Sue Young.

During the construction, the plant would bring about 600 jobs to Mitchell County. Once it's running, the plant would employ 35 people.

"The plant is still coming, they still are proceeding actively to start construction as soon as possible, they will just find their supplement water elsewhere," Young said.

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