Howe rejects water rate increase at special meeting

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HOWE, TX -- Dozens of Howe residents showed up to a special city council meeting tonight to give their input about how to keep the city within budget in this tight economy.

Residents showed up to tonight's special meeting concerned the City of Howe might increase the rates on city services.The mayor says after hearing their concerns they will try to avoid rate hikes at all costs.

Several Howe residents showed up to Tuesday night's meeting concerned the city might raise water rates to bring in more money, but Mayor Jeff Stanley says after seeing all the opposition from residents they will focus on other alternatives.

He says the city is not in debt right now, but it does look like there will be shortfalls in the future.

"We have to pay several types of bonds and they've been raising every year and it just doesn't look like we are making enough income to pay for them," Stanley said.

Stanley says the idea behind the special meeting was to get residents' input on how to expand the city's budget.

"Tonight we ended up just on a council request trying to find some ways to cut costs. Maybe in the police department," Stanley said.

A suggestion to cut the police force from four officers to two did not go over well with many who attended the meeting, but Deann Mozingo says if cuts need to be made residents should not have to pay more.

"I don't think that they way to solve the problem correctly is to keep penalizing the citizens that live here," Mozingo said.

Another option still on the table doing away with certain benefits for city employees.

"We're a single income family, you know I choose not to have certain things so that we can live on a budget and I think the government entities need to start learning the same thing they need to be accountable to a budget and stick to it," Mozingo said.

Mayor Stanley says a meeting to decide what the city will cut will be held on June 5 at 7 p.m.

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