2nd reading of 4B project on city agenda

The Big Spring City Council is poised to consider final reading of an ordinance calling for a special election be held in May to use economic development funds for a re-vamp of the city's water and wastewater facilities through a controversial 4B project that has drawn both fierce criticism and praise from members of the community.And while members of the Big Spring City Council may have mixed feelings about how to fund renovations to the water and wastewater facilities, there's little doubt they agree the citizens should be allowed to vote on the issue as the panel voted unanimously to approve it first reading during the council's Jan. 10 meeting.The decision came following a tumultuous outpouring of testimony from area residents both for and against the proposed project, which, if approved by Big Spring voters, would use funding from the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation to pay for a $11-million re-vamp of the city's existing water and wastewater facilities, and a portion of the city's aging water lines.The Big Spring EDC, designated a 4A corporation by the state, would have its operating budget slashed in half if the project is approved, providing between $800,000 and $800,500 a year for the water project's debt service and approximately $800,000 to $850,000 annually for the EDC to operate on.According to previous reports from city officials, if the city council approves the ordinance Tuesday, the measure will be sufficient to call for a special election in May. However, should voters approve the project, it would still have to go before the Big Spring EDC board of directors for final approval. It's unclear at this time exactly what would happen if the EDC board were to vote down the project at that point.