WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls City Councilors are moving forward with the construction of a new water tower, and a price increase for builders’ permits.

New water tower

A water tower that has stood in Wichita Falls for a century will have a full overhaul soon.

After approval from the council, the tower that was built in 1920 will come down and a brand new tower will be built in that same spot.

Currently, the tower holds about 500,000 gallons but the new one will triple in size!

Holding well more than one million gallons, something that’s much needed for the future of maintenance and the citizens of Wichita Falls.

“Water is vitally important to everybody until they don’t have it and it becomes real important, and that water tower is about the same age as me, you know it’s worn out and based on Russell’s description of it, it’s a timely need we need to address,” Bobby Whiteley said.

The plan for the city is to tear down that current water tower, then build the new one right there on the same spot.

Builders rates up

People may notice a price increase in a few months when going to the city of Wichita Falls Permit Office.

On Tuesday, City Council approved a resolution to amend the city of Wichita Falls’ fee ordinance by a slim margin of four to three.

That means, come March 1, 2022, people will see up to a 12.5% increase on permits. That’s from home remodeling, home building, water tank permits, to larger commercial-scale projects.

Director of Development Terry Floyd said Wichita Falls hasn’t raised those rates in more than 10 years and his staff has been working to fix that throughout this year.

“It was a lot of hard work to staff by council and as we continue to look those fees into the future. We continue to do what’s best for our general fund but also what’s best for the taxpayers in the community,” Floyd said.

There was some opposition present from Home Builders Association representative and they did have a chance to speak with councilors, even after that, the resolution still passed.

One of those votes against District At-Large and now Pro-Tem Bobby Whiteley said he didn’t oppose the increases but said there are questions marks.

“I voted against that resolution based on wanting some more answers to other questions, and I think it’s inherent on us as the city to keep a closer eye on those issues, I mean, it’s been 12 years since that issue has been addressed and that’s not the construction communities fault. That’s our fault so we need to do a better job of keeping up with that,” Whiteley said.

Again, these rates won’t go into effect until March 1.