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Obtaining signatures for a public referendum on a water rate rise difficult for Hot Springs



Hot Springs, Arkansas – This week, a group in Hot Springs will collect signatures for a public referendum on rising water rates. The group’s leader expressed optimism but cautioned that obtaining the required number might prove challenging.

Last week, county officials said that the rate increase was required to pay for the development of the water infrastructure, which City Manager Bill Burrough claimed was more expensive than anticipated because to inflation brought on by the epidemic.

According to Burrough, the city will turn off new water connections if the vote goes forward in order to prevent the present system from filling to capacity.

“We know we’re going to be past the time where we know we can bring another solution to the problem,” Burrough said.

In January and November of the following year, the increase would be $2, for a total increase of $4. George Pritchett, a local activist, is in charge of a group that is gathering signatures to get this on the ballot the following year and stop the rate hike.

“If we win, it’s wonderful,” Pritchett said. “If we don’t win, they know we’re here.”

Pritchett claimed that two city leaders first supported the collection of signatures but then changed their minds. Starting from scratch, he claimed, would require the group to collect more than 1,600 signatures.

“Will we make it? I don’t know,” Pritchett said. “I’m hopeful. If not, I’ll know that we tried.”