State declines to step in on water dispute
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A state commission has rejected a South Texas school district’s plea to force the city to turn the water back on so students can return to class.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said Wednesday that it did not have authority to address the underlying water fee dispute between La Villa (VEE’-yah) and its school district so it declined the school district’s request for an emergency order. Commissioners were upset that students were being used as pawns, but said they could not act.
The city cut water to the district after students left for holiday vacation, saying the district owes about $58,000. The district continued paying its bill at an old rate but objected to a December 2012 rate hike.
Classes were to resume Monday, but schools have remained closed.