News Release from the office of Senator Carlos Uresti

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2009
CONTACT: J.A. Lazarus at 512-463-0119

BEXAR MET OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE SUBMITS REPORT ON BEXAR MET REFORM OPTIONS

AUSTIN, Tex. — The Joint Oversight Committee on the Bexar Metropolitan Water District has submitted its report to the Senate and House Natural Resources Committees on the first day of the 81st Regular Session.

"This report is the summation of seven public hearings conducted by the Oversight Committee and 18 months of intense state agency audits and analysis by the State Auditor’s Office and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality," committee co-chairman Senator Carlos Uresti explained.

"The audits' findings have made clear that Bexar Met requires stringent, temporary external oversight, a set of clear benchmarks to measure the success of its reforms, and increased training for the board and management to improve the utility’s operation for my constituents," Senator Uresti stated.

"The oversight committee believes that a reformed Bexar Met has a role to play in Bexar County's economic viability and growth. Because Bexar Met is an entity created by the state, a thorough and rigorous reform process will require substantial legislative safeguards to ensure that the utility is held accountable to its ratepayers. Increased accountability and greater transparency are necessary to ensure that Bexar Met achieves the goal of providing better service, stable rates, and reliable supply. Ultimately, ratepayer satisfaction is the bar by which we will measure all of Bexar Met’s behavior," Uresti said.

The oversight committee, co-chaired by State Senator Carlos Uresti and State Representative Frank Corte, Jr., was created by House Bill 1565 during the last legislative session. It was charged with providing reform recommendations to the Senate and House Natural Resources Committees for consideration in the 81st Regular Session.

The full text of the report can be found on the committee’s web page at http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/commit/c875/c875.InterimReport80.pdf.

For more information, please contact J.A. Lazarus at 512-463-0119.

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