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City hires PR firm to battle DUD plant
wauford  w sm
Mayor Taft Hendrixson and the Smithville city council have hired a public relations firm to try and help stop the DeKalb Utility District’s plan to build its own water treatment plant.The DUD plan calls for a treatment plant of their own in the Yolanda Hills Drive area off Holmes Creek Road.It is the city officials’ opinion that the move would be disastrous for both city and county water customers, and the city council voted Monday night to hire the Calvert Street Group of Nashville, to fill the public in on all the details.According to city officials, water rates for both Smithville and DUD customers would suffer huge rate increases if the proposed water treatment plant is built.The DUD now buys its water from the City of Smithville. The city of Smithville may suffer a loss of more than $500,000 yearly revenue if the plan is enacted.J.R. Wauford, who has been the city's utility engineer since 1962, addressed the council at Monday night's meeting and told the mayor and aldermen that the city's newly renovated water treatment plant has the capacity to produce more than enough water to supply the City of Smithville and the DeKalb Utility District for years to come, making the DUD plan redundant and potentially financially harmful to customers of both districts."You (the city) have a four-million-gallon-a-day water treatment plant,” Wauford told the council. “You're producing about 1.8 million gallons per day.