By Emily Trube, 1080 KRLD | CBSDFW.COM

DALLAS, Texas (1080 KRLD) – Has Prestonwood Country Club been stealing water from the city of Dallas for a quarter of a century in order to water it’s The Hills Golf Course in Plano? Some Dallas City Council members think that’s been the case and want the country club to pay up.

A TCEQ investigation into Prestonwood’s water practices was launched in 2011, following a complaint. The state agency determined that since 1986, Prestonwood had been violating state law by diverting water from Indian Creek to its golf course in Plano without permission from the city of Dallas, which holds the water rights.

A water contract is now being proposed. Yesterday, the council considered a five-year agreement with the Prestonwood Golf Club, LLC to provide untreated water for around $46,000 per year.

The item was pulled by council member Scott Griggs, who was outraged by what he calls “illegal theft” on the part of Prestonwood.

Council member Phillip Kingston agreed, saying, “They ought to say they are sorry, but in the civil loss system cash is they way you say you are sorry.”

Council Member Griggs’ motion to continue negotiations with Prestonwood on the water contract and on the cost of a right-of-way easement on the golf course continue was approved. But, some members felt that Griggs’ outrage was over-the-top and inappropriate.

“I believe that the pontificating that I have heard is for public consumption and newspaper headlines,” said council member Vonciel Jones Hill.

Hill says that the discussion is a legal one and should have been kept behind closed doors. The full situation, she says, is more complicated.

“Until we know that it is our water, do we have any right to collect on it?” asked Jones Hill. “How in the world can we presume that we can collect a penalty on something we’re not sure we could collect on in the first place?”

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