The City of Conroe and its allies have scored a major victory in court in their battle against the San Jacinto River Authority, the agency responsible for regulating surface water in the watershed of the San Jacinto River. The Ninth Court of Appeals in Beaumont has ruled that the SJRA cannot impose a water tax on the cities of Conroe, Magnolia, and Splendora, citing the cities’ governmental immunity. The ruling also confirms that cities and MUDs are exempt to the rates the SJRA is charging related to the Groundwater Reduction Plan (GRP).
For years, Conroe and other cities have been in a legal battle against the SJRA over water rates. Water rates in Montgomery County have skyrocketed, and the cities have accused the SJRA of overcharging for water. The City of Conroe rejected the rate increase and refused to pay it.
The SJRA countered by suing the City of Conroe, however, the district courts have thus far ruled in Conroe’s favor. The SJRA appealed, however, the recent Ninth Court of Appeals ruling confirms rulings by the lower courts in Conroe’s favor.
“I am pleased to hear this news, especially after revelations that some Conroe officials were in negotiations with SJRA to settle the lawsuit,” says Simon Sequeira, CEO of Quadvest, a local water provider. “While Quadvest was not directly involved in this lawsuit, the results tell us what we have been saying for years – the cities of Montgomery County and Quadvest will resolve this water tax issue and we will prevail.”
Questions? Comments? Thoughts? We want to hear from you! Contact the editor by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 936-777-0743.