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Tuesday's election will decide fate of future Texas water projects, local school bonds

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Nov 04 2013 09:28:19 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 05 2013 04:23:12 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

Tuesday, voters will decide the fate of a constitutional amendment designed to fund future water projects.

Proposition 6 would create two new state funds that would help finance thousands of water projects over the next 50 years.

Also Tuesday, there are four school bonds on ballots in Taylor County, including an $87.7 million school bond at Abilene ISD. The others include Merkel, Trent and a $20 million bond in Jim Ned CISD that would form a consolidated elementary school in Tuscola.

Meanwhile, the debate over Prop 6 mainly focuses on where the money would come from.

It would transfer $2 billion from the state rainy day fund, but people we talked to say Texas' water need is critical.

"I think almost everyone is praying for rain praying for rain," said Gerald McCoy, who raises cattle as a hobby in Haskell.

McCoy said drought has hit the area hard.

"The last three years have been pretty bad we get little showers and it helps us along but that's about it," said McCoy.

That’s making life more difficult for McCoy and his cows.

"We're just holding on really, but as soon as I can I'll probably sell these cows and calves because I've run out of pasture," said McCoy.

John Rike also lives in Haskell and said area reservoirs are low and it's getting worse.

"You need to prepare and be very proactive in your stance to be sure that you have enough water," Rike said.  

One way Texas lawmakers are planning to ensure there is enough water is with prop six which would help fund new reservoirs, build water pipelines, and assist cities and towns in finding new water sources.

"We need water for our reservoirs, especially right now," said McCoy.

"I am certainly in favor of it. I would say this, ‘let's have some guidelines in there so it's not just an open checkbook to the taxpayer,’" Rike said.

One of the projects Prop 6 could help fund, the Cedar Ridge Reservoir the City of Abilene hopes to build in the next 10 to 15 years.

For Taylor County polling locations click here.