ENID, Okla. — Editor’s note: This is the first of three articles covering Enid City Commission candidates’ views on some of the major issues facing the city in the next four-year term. Each of the candidates were asked the same slate of questions.
The election for the Ward 3 seat on the Enid City Commission will be decided Feb. 12 between Enid attorney Ben Ezzell and former city of Enid employee Eldon Stephens. Ezzell works as a bankruptcy attorney in Enid. Stephens worked for the city of Enid for 23 years, rising to the position of heavy equipment operator before his departure from city employment last August.
Enid News & Eagle will host a forum featuring candidates in all three wards up for election at 6 p.m. Monday in commission chambers, 401 W. Garriott.
City water issues
High demand and a record-breaking drought combined to exceed the city’s water delivery capacity last summer, ushering in city water conservation measures and watering restrictions through September.
According to figures provided by the city last summer, residential use amounts to 30.4 percent of the city’s water. Commercial usage is 65.6 percent. The city of Enid has announced plans to increase municipal water supply by one million gallons per day in 2013 and an additional two million gallons per day in 2014 by expanding city water rights and infrastructure.
Question: Are the city’s plans to expand the water supply sufficient to meet Enid’s growing demand? What would be your plan to increase water supply for the city?
“Water supply is a problem, but we have a great solution,” Ezzell said. “If we can get our industrial users to be able to use our outflow water, that would effectively double our supply.”
Ezzell said a water treatment plant capable of “scrubbing” gray water to be within Oklahoma DEQ standards for companies like Koch Nitrogen would go a long way to addressing the city’s water issues.
“We really need to get our outflow water to Koch, and get them using that again,” Ezzell said. “That would double our potable water supply, and that buys us decades.”
“I feel like we have a pretty good water source,” Ezzell added. “We just need to make better use of it.”