City of Lampasas wins water dispute - KXXV Central Texas News Now


City of Lampasas wins water dispute

LAMPASAS, TX (KXXV) - A years-long battle over water between the City of Lampasas and the Kempner Water Supply Corporation came to an end Monday afternoon after a judge ruled in favor of the city. 

The city was awarded $117,432 in damages after suing Kempner in September 2013 for overcharging. 

Lampasas and Kempner have been in partnership since 1985. The city withdraws water from the Stillhouse Reservoir in Belton and that water is delivered to them through Kempner. 

Problems arose when Kempner built a water treatment plant in 2010 and began charging Lampasas for water from that plant. Lampasas, however, was under the impression that they were only being charged for water from the Central Texas Water Supply Corporation.

In 2013, Kempner Water Supply Corporation announced to the city that they had been "under-billing" them. The bills Kempner showed the city went back to March 2010 and were charging the city a "Kempner Treated Water Cost." The treated water cost was one that Lampasas never agreed to, according to city officials.

Both parties were interpreting the terms of the contract differently. The city said they were only obligated to pay for the water coming from the Central Texas treatment plant, not Kempner's treatment plant. According to court documents, the Kempner Water Supply Corporation said the city's interpretation of the contract was "absurd" and that the city was to pay for any water delivered by Kempner.

Monday afternoon, Judge John Gauntt ruled in favor of the city, ending the years-long dispute. 

"The water and the capacity that we have been paying for for over 20 years is protected as it should have been according to the contract," said Lampasas City Manager Finley deGraffenried. "We look forward to this case finally winding down."

The Kempner Water Supply Corporation still has the option to appeal the judge's decision. It is unclear whether they will do that. 
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