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story.lead_photo.caption Fazio Hale

Riverbend Water Resources District Executive Director/CEO Liz Fazio Hale resigned her position of three years during the district's regular board meeting Wednesday.

She thanked the board of directors for their support through the past few years and said she was taking an opportunity "with a water authority 200 times the size of Riverbend with impact and reach to every corner in the State of Texas."

Fazio Hale said she could not disclose which authority she will be working for, as it is their news to share. She added that the announcement should come within the next 30 days and that she would remain in her current position until around the middle of June.

"I am privileged to have had the opportunity to serve as the executive director/CEO of Riverbend Water Resources District for the past three years during a most pivotal time in our region's water history," she said. "Not only have I had the opportunity to serve alongside men and women of Riverbend who provide water and wastewater services to the Red River Army Depot, our region's largest economic driver, I have also had the opportunity to plan for our future water needs and future economic endeavors."

Fazio Hale has been with Riverbend since October 2015, when she was appointed as Chief Operating Officer and was named Executive Director/CEO in January 2016. A New Boston native, she is a former valedictorian of New Boston High School and worked for global accounting form KPMG in Denver, Colo. She also served as the Director of Natural Resources for the Texas House of Representatives.

She said she was proud of the progress made on the board's priority goals, which include: transferring the wet utilities, including approximately 15 employees, from TexAmericas Center to Riverbend; clarifying and reducing a 50-year-old contractual obligation the city of Texarkana, Texas has with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for water storage fees in Wright Patman Lake from $30 million to $6 million; completing the area's first Regional Water Master Plan; increasing the area's future water demands in the Texas State Water Plan from 13,000 acre feet of water to 136,000 acre feet; conducting the area's first regional rate study with analysis for 12 municipalities; feasibility studies on wastewater infrastructure in the area; providing knowledge and expertise in water and wastewater services to their 16 member entities; and the reciept of $200 million in commitments from area municipalities to support a new water intake at Wright Patman, a new raw water line to TexAmericas Center and a new water treatment facility.

Fazio Hale encouraged the directors to maintain strong relationships with their 16 member entities, which include Bowie, Cass and Red River Counties, TexAmericas Center and the cities of Anonna, Atlanta, Avery, DeKalb, Hooks, Leary, Maud, Nash, New Boston, Redwater, Wake Village and Texarkana, Texas.

"Going forward, if there was anything that I could advise Riverbend, the board or any future executive director of Riverbend it would be to maintain those relationships and alliances amongst all of the member cities. They are our true heart, the true heart of Riverbend and without them Riverbend will not be strong. The power is within those members and it should and must remain with the members. Our success came from that open communication."

Riverbend's next meeting will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the Riverbend Offices, 228A Texas Ave., New Boston, Texas. State Rep. Gary VanDeaver will give the board an update on the current legislative session.

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