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Water issues remain high among Phelps' priorities

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

It's been 17 years since Eber Phelps left his spot on the Hays City Commission to serve as a state legislator, but one topic is as compelling to him today as it was in 1996.

Educating the public regarding water efficiencies is high on the list of priorities for Phelps.

"That's one thing I want to do on the commission," he said in an interview Friday. "If you would say I have a goal, I want to revive those discussions and that education program.

"Get us prepared for the next few years, which could be pretty critical."

Phelps said he looks back with pride on commission accomplishments in regard to water in the 1990s.

Some of those accomplishments include water conservation programs, purchase of the R-9 Ranch, development of Dakota wells and efforts to begin reconfiguration of the Smoky Wellfield.

"But I think that water conservation program was really key," he said. "We were doing rebates for low flow toilets, giving away shower heads.

"The dividends paid off real well."

Beyond water issues, Phelps is well-acquainted with city government matters.

"It's a lot easier going into it this time than when I first became a city commissioner, and it's a lot easier going into this than when I was going into the Legislature because I've got a real familiarity with it," he said.

Unsure whether he will file for the seat he holds after being appointed to fill Commissioner Barbara Wasinger's unexpired term after her election to the Ellis County Commission, Phelps said he has been getting back into the swing of working full-time following his unsuccessful bid for re-election as 111th district representative. Serving since 1997, Phelps completed eight terms as state legislator.

He said he will give some thought to running prior to the Tuesday filing deadline.