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Council discusses electric utility rates, waterline extension

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The San Marcos City Council approved an increase in electric utility rates for Large Independent, Redundant Service and Large Distributed Generation Standby Service customers during Tuesday's meeting.

“For the Large Independent Redundant Service, that typically would be a large commercial or industrial who wanted to have, say independent lines running from different directions into his site, or her site, so that if you lost service from one direction, you were completely backed up by a service coming from a direction or even from a different substations or on different feeders depending on the reliability that they were you know, seeking out,” said Tyler Hjorth, Director of Utilities for the City of San Marcos

Hjorth said that by doing this, there would be twice the amount of infrastructure and different costs associated with it. The Large Distributed Generation Standby Service, includes commercial customers that have over one megawatt.

“It’s primarily targeted as a way to get costs of service money back out and make sure that anybody that’s using either of these two tariffs then you know are not subsidized for the extra capacity that they are using say by residential customers or small businesses,” Hjorth said.

While there are currently no customers in these categories, the rate structure needed to be updated from the previous numbers that were last approved by council in 2018, taken from data collected from 2015.

Councilmembers also unanimously voted to award a construction contract to EVT Construction, LLC for the Highway 21 Waterline Extension Project.

Kirk Abbott, Project Engineer for the City of San Marcos, explained that the project was previously identified in the Water Master Plan to extend the water line on San Marcos Regional Airport property along State Highway 21, from Airport Drive to William Pettus Drive.

The project will support future development at the San Marcos Airport and a proposed Fire Department training facility. The project will cost $1,593,100.

The council also had a discussion regarding information to be included as background information in support of council appointee performance pay increases.

“This is really, really a big thing and really important so I thought we needed to bring that to a higher level to make that discussion,” Hughson said.

When councilmembers discuss giving raises to employees, there is no additional information within the meeting packet to view or consider. While previously considering this topic, council member Maxfield Baker suggested adding details such as employee evaluation scores.

“Until there’s like a mechanism in place that can kind of like, protect all parties involved in case there’s like a performance analysis that entities kind of don’t agree on, I don’t feel comfortable in putting everybody’s business out there,” Councilmember Alyssa Garza said. “I don’t think anybody's requested that and like generally,  it’s not like a hot topic that folks are trying to get the scoop on.”

Baker explained that he did have some of the public reach out to him and questioned why certain employees such as previous City Manager Bert Lumbreras received a raise. Baker further drove the point that if the information is available for the public upon request, it should just be included in the meeting packet.

“My concern is if this is going to be broadcast to the public in a council packet, that there are councilmembers who might use that freeform text in a way that might not be fair to the employee, I’ll just put it that way,” Hughson said.

Councilmember Mark Gleason voiced that detailed criticism and discussions regarding evaluations should not be included in the packet.

While there was no action taken, Mayor Hughson went around the table for opinions to which a majority of council agreed to not include numerical evaluation scores and freeform text but have a summary written by a consultant that council would ultimately review.

For the complete meeting and agenda, visit

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666