US

South Texas city shuts off school district's water amid dispute over bill; schools close down

  • The La Villa Independent School District's farm sits locked up in La Villa, Texas, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. A water payment dispute between the city and school district has shut down the schools and forced students to move their livestock elsewhere. (AP Photo/Chris Sherman)

    The La Villa Independent School District's farm sits locked up in La Villa, Texas, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. A water payment dispute between the city and school district has shut down the schools and forced students to move their livestock elsewhere. (AP Photo/Chris Sherman)  (The Associated Press)

  • A sign outside La Villa Middle School tells of the school district's status in La Villa, Texas, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. Schools in La Villa were supposed to return to classes, but instead a water payment dispute with the city has shut the school down. (AP Photo/Chris Sherman)

    A sign outside La Villa Middle School tells of the school district's status in La Villa, Texas, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. Schools in La Villa were supposed to return to classes, but instead a water payment dispute with the city has shut the school down. (AP Photo/Chris Sherman)  (The Associated Press)

  • La Villa Independent School District Superintendent Narciso Garcia poses for a photo in his office in La Villa, Texas, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. A water payment dispute between the city and school district has shut down the schools. (AP Photo/Chris Sherman)

    La Villa Independent School District Superintendent Narciso Garcia poses for a photo in his office in La Villa, Texas, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. A water payment dispute between the city and school district has shut down the schools. (AP Photo/Chris Sherman)  (The Associated Press)

Schools are closed in a one-stoplight South Texas town after the city shut off their water amid a dispute over the bill.

The city of La Villa shut off water and sewer service to the La Villa Independent School District in December, shortly after students started their holiday break. The city had increased a water surcharge and the school district has refused to pay the higher rate.

The district's approximately 625 students were supposed to return to classes Monday, but instead found this message on the school district's website: "All La Villa I.S.D. schools will be closed until further notice."