Acknowledging that the hospital took “a beating on Facebook during the Stage 4 water rationing” earlier in November, Dawson County Hospital District Board President Cris Norris defended the hospital district during the regular monthly board meeting this past Wednesday.
    “We closed some of the bathrooms, so not all are flushing at the same time. We did what we were asked to do,” Norris said about the critical water situation announced by the City of Lamesa on the morning of Nov. 8 when the city was facing the distinct possibility of being out of water by midday.
    At that time, water customers of the city were asked to be “as extremely, extremely conservative as they can be” by Dionicio Garza Jr., Director of Utilities for the City of Lamesa. Garza also stated, “If you can get by without using any water, please do so if at all possible.”
    “Our water line (from Lake Meredith near Amarillo) is an old structure. It would cost $37 million to replace the line and there is just not money to do that,” said Norris, who also represents the city on the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority (CRMWA) board. CRMWA owns the water pipeline that services a number of member cities, including Lamesa.
    “I grow so weary of having to defend every action (of the hospital district) to the public,” said Norris.
    Medical Arts Hospital CEO Letha Stokes added that the clinic was shut down one day because of the Stage 4 water rationing in November.


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