2023 Annual Report


Winona is a small town in Texas three miles north of Owentown in northeastern Smith County.

With a population of around 576 residents, the Winona dates back to 1870 when it was established on the old Shreveport-Dallas Road. Winona residents depend on the Starrville Water Supply Corporation (WSC) for clean, safe water.

Starrville WSC started on April 24, 1998, when General Manager Hattie Miller moved to the area and noticed that the town needed a water system. She took it upon herself to create a water supply corporation and learn how to run it properly.

Twenty-five years later, Starrville WSC has moved out of Hattie’s home and into a proper building. Starrville Water Supply Corporation has 351 customers and added two large commercial customers. The commercial customers have created jobs in the community and increased Starrville WSC revenues.

When Starrville grew to have 250 connections, a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requirement stated that Starrville must have a second water source. CU and Hattie decided to drill a new well. Starrville WSC was planning for the community’s future, and the well project was completed with financial assistance from CU.

In April 2021, CU’s Texas Environmental Services staff assisted on a project to add an RV Park/Resort and a Loves Truck Stop to the system.

In 2023, CU worked with Starrville WSC on Board Training and helped them fund painting the water tank. Hattie Miller also had safety concerns at the WSC office. Traffic had increased close to the office, and she had concerns about being alone at the remote location. She feared there could be theft of equipment and customer payments.

CU discussed her concerns with the board and suggested security doors and a camera system. The board voted to install the security doors, windows, and cameras. Starrville WSC staff are now safe and secure to continue providing safe drinking water for their community.

Starrville Water Supply
Starrville Water Supply Company is located in Winona, TX and has had a long relationship with Communities Unlimited

"Communities Unlimited has always been supportive.  They've been there since day one."

— Hattie Miller, General Manager, Starrville WSC

For nearly twenty years, Hattie has manually read every meter in the system, stopping at each one to take a reading. It was not until 2022 that the system installed radio meters for some customers, allowing Hattie to finish her meter reading duties more efficiently.

Starrville WSC has come a long way from when operating out of Hattie’s home. They now have GIS maps of their system, radio meters, a security system, and a second water source, and they are supplying water to two major commercial customers.

"Hattie is a superhero. She may not wear a cape, but that is what she is. You give her a problem, and she works on finding a solution."

— Irma Shultz, Communities Unlimited