WCID No. 1

The wastewater treatment plant for Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 is located near Belton.

A bill that would expand a key Bell County water supplier’s district boundaries is in its final stretch to become law.

The Texas Senate approved House Bill 2105 on Friday. The measure now heads back to the House for a final signature, and will then go to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature.

“I’m just excited,” state Rep. Hugh Shine, R-Temple, the author of the bill, said. “We worked very hard putting it together.”

HB 2105 — which was also authored by Republicans Brad Buckley of Salado and JD Sheffield of Gatesville — proposes to expand the Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1’s boundaries to include all of its served areas and increase the number of elected board members to seven from five.

The Killeen-based entity sells water to the cities of Belton, Killeen, Nolanville, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove as well as Fort Hood and the 439 Water Supply Corp. Currently, only Killeen residents decide who sits on the board of directors.

With the other six entities in the district’s boundaries, the larger WCID No. 1 would be divided into seven precincts. Each precinct would elect a director to the board. Three of the precincts would be focused on the city of Killeen.

Under the measure, Fort Hood would have a non-voting member on the board of directors.

Having a seat at the decision-making table was a key reason for why the Belton City Council threw its support behind HB 2105 earlier this year.

“In January, the Belton City Council passed a resolution in favor of the boundary expansion proposal,” Belton spokesman Paul Romer said. “We support this legislation and anticipate Belton representation on the board soon.”

The House first approved the bill in a unanimous vote on April 18.

Initially, the bill eliminated board elections in favor of WCID No. 1’s seven customers appointing a member. That idea and a clause allowing developers to serve on the board were later scrapped when Shine substituted that draft for the current legislation.