City of Laredo officials react to potential citizens’ lawsuit

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 10:16 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - City of Laredo officials are reacting to the announcement of a lawsuit that could be filed against them because of the ongoing water issues.

Thursday morning, the citizens’ group, “AGUAS!”, Accion De Gente Unida Para Agua Segura, held a protest outside of City Hall to notify the city that they plan on filing a citizens’ suit if the city doesn’t improve the public water system.

The group is giving the city 60 days to meet their demands or they’ll take their fight to the courtroom.

Under the Safe Water Drinking Act citizens who want to bring a suit under the act must give a 60-day notice to the water system.

Laredo’s Mayor Pete Saenz and Councilman Mercurio Martinez, III both agree that the city is equally concerned about making improvements to the water system, and are working hard to make changes fast.

“I’m very concerned about our water,” said Martinez. “That’s why in 2019, when I came on board, one of the first things that we did was we recognized the fact that our pipes are 50 years-old, and (that) we need to replace them. That was the reason for the water rate hike, so that we can go out and bond,” Martinez added.

The city is in the process of allocating $160 million to replace its outdated water infrastructure.

“It’s unfortunate that it took so long to begin replacing the old infrastructure, but it’s being replaced,” said Mayor Saenz. “We have a five-year program that we will be spending millions of dollars to replace the old lines, and that’s going to take some time. We may even have some future boil water notices, regretfully, but it’s part of the course of replacing the old infrastructure,” Saenz added.

Saenz tells KGNS that the Laredo City Council takes full responsibility for the water problems.

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