SouthWest Water Co. said Wednesday it won’t seek a rate increase through April 2014 for the 14,500 Pflugerville residents served by its subsidiary Windermere Utility Co.
Officials from the city of Pflugerville and SouthWest Water said in a joint statement they hope to continue negotiations, begun a year ago, over control of the service area. Southwest is one of four water providers in the city.
The Pflugerville City Council on Tuesday will consider approving the plan to keep negotiating.
“We realized that any long-term agreement was going to be complex,” SouthWest Water Vice President Chuck Profilet said.
Last April, the Pflugerville City Council unanimously agreed to pay SouthWest Water $176,752 from the city’s water utility fund. In return, the company withdrew an application for rate increases.
City officials also said the city wouldn’t condemn Windermere Utility Co. At the time, SouthWest Water said it wouldn’t seek a rate increase for a year while negotiations continued.
In February, Pflugerville City Manager Brandon Wade said the city and SouthWest Water were hopeful about a public-private partnership.
“I’m very encouraged,” Wade said Wednesday. “I’ve had a couple of really good meetings with SouthWest Water. We think we’re zeroing in on some possible solutions.”
Profilet said the two parties have met at least once a month, and they will continue meeting on a monthly basis until they reach a final agreement.
In February 2012, city officials discussed buying the company’s Pflugerville service area or seizing it by eminent domain if negotiations weren’t fruitful. Profilet said SouthWest Water doesn’t plan to sell its Windermere subsidiary.
The city’s effort came after residents complained about increased water bills. Originally, SouthWest Water requested a 60 percent rate hike for water and a 30 percent increase for wastewater service.