Harlingen Set to Charge New Street Maintenance Fee

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HARLINGEN – Harlingen water customers in residential and commercial areas will soon see an added fee on their bills.

City commissioners approved a street maintenance fee last week. A current $1 fee for infrastructure projects will be done away with.

However, those on a limited income said the fees will do more bad than good. Resident Jim Evans said he’s worried about his upcoming water bill.

“I’m on social security so my check comes at the end of the month. So you know, I’m cash-strapped,” he said.

Harlingen assistance city manager Carlos Sanchez said the new ordinance allows the city to charge customers anywhere from $2.50 to $8.50.

Residents living in apartments or mobile homes will pay a $2.50 fee.

Single-family homes will pay $2.50 as well. If they exceed use of more than 1,000 gallons of water per month, they will have to pay a $4.50 fee.

Business will be charged $8.50.

“It’s something that’s restricted. So it’s something that the citizens will be able to see the impact of where those dollars go directly, because it’ll be on the roadways, the quality of roadways that we have,” Sanchez said.

The money collected will strictly be used for street repairs.

Sanchez said fees are expected to generate around $1.5 million annually. It will allow for about 3-miles worth of road repairs, per year.

“We have over 265 miles of roadways in the city and many of those need some maintenance. So this is a mechanism to advance in improving the roadways throughout the city,” he said.

Evans said citizens’ input should have been considered. He feels the city is already imposing too many fees.

“My concern is we’re getting to be a fee-based water board. Before I even use water, I have to pay a bill,” he said.

Sanchez said residents will see the added fees on their bill by June. He said they are also welcomed to submit request for road repairs.


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