Port Aransas Residents Complain About 10% Increase in Water Bills

Residents and business owners in Port Aransas, Corpus Christi, and Aransas Pass, served by Nueces County Water District 4, are bracing for a 10% hike in their water bills starting February 29. This adjustment in billing comes as an unwelcome surprise to many, especially to those whose livelihoods are closely tied to water usage.

Among the vocal critics of the rate increase is Jace Thompson, proprietor of Barefoot Beans, a coffee shop in Port Aransas known for its high water consumption, particularly during the bustling summer. Thompson expresses his dismay, highlighting this surge’s challenges for businesses reliant on substantial water use. “The news was somewhat shocking and not exactly welcome. Running a business that heavily depends on water, this increase could significantly impact our operational costs, particularly during the peak season,” Thompson shared.

Like many local businesses, Barefoot Beans gears up for increased activity in summer, with water consumption reaching several hundred gallons daily. Thompson is apprehensive about the cumulative effect of the rate hike during these crucial months, voicing a broader frustration with escalating costs. “It seems like there’s always something more—more expenses, more demands for money. It’s becoming quite exhausting,” he lamented.

Conversely, some business owners perceive the rate increase more positively. Kelby McCan, who owns Shoreline Realty Co. and Sip Yard Port Aransas, views the additional cost as an investment in the quality and reliability of their water supply. McCan argues that clean, dependable water is indispensable, and a price increase is a small price for peace of mind. “Water is essential, and its purity non-negotiable. No one wants to doubt the safety of their tap water. If a 10% increase ensures the integrity of our water supply, I’m all for it,” McCan stated.

The need for the rate adjustment stems from a significant hike in the cost of treated water supplied by the Corpus Christi Utility District, as Scott Mack, the District Manager of Nueces County Water District 4, explains. This increase is not temporary; it will remain in effect until future revisions are made. However, Mack reassures customers that no further increases are on the horizon for the near term.

The community’s reaction to this development is mixed, reflecting a spectrum of perspectives on the value and cost of essential services like water. While some, like Thompson, grapple with the financial implications of the hike, others, like McCan, accept it as a necessary step towards maintaining the quality of life and business standards in Port Aransas and its neighboring areas. As the implementation date approaches, residents and business owners are recalibrating their budgets and expectations, adapting to the realities of an ever-changing economic landscape.

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