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City to test sewer lines in Mayfair Terrace subdivision

By Sonny Long
Feb. 1, 2011 at 9 p.m.
Updated Jan. 31, 2011 at 8:01 p.m.


IN OTHER ACTION...

Instructed city attorney Thomas Gwosdz to bring back an ordinance regulating helipads within the city.

Approved the transfer of motel tax funds to the funds of several eligible organizations and agencies.

Heard the first reading of an ordinance removing the requirement to register dogs and cats with the city.

Heard the first reading of an ordinance amending taxicab rates.

Approved the first reading of an ordinance prohibiting the sale of synthetic marijuana.

Approved a $25,984 change order for the Main Street and DeLeon Plaza improvements project for sidewalk replacement on the Main Street side of First Victoria National Bank.

Approved a resolution for a property exchange between the city and Salem Baptist Church.

Approved a resolution concerning legal representation for the Steering Committee of Cities regarding the rate increase requested by CenterPoint Energy.

Residents of the Mayfair Terrace subdivision, fed up with the heavy flooding that plagued them twice within less than three months last year, addressed the Victoria City Council Tuesday asking for help.

The area flooded in May and again in August 2010.

"I've heard these cries. We've had these meetings. People have lost everything," said David Snell, a resident of Linda Drive for more than 30 years. "We're not second-class citizens. We've paid for our homes. I care about my neighbors."

Lola Hedrick, who also lives on Linda Drive, said, "We lost everything."

"No one came and asked us if we needed help," she said. "We got a mop from the Red Cross. I don't know what can be done. Maybe nothing can. Some people are worse off than me."

Several other residents also addressed the council with similar concerns, some with photographs of the flooding.

Councilman Gabriel Soliz, whose district includes the subdivision, led a town meeting last week to discuss the drainage problems with residents.

Lynn Short, the city's public works director, told council members that some inspections have been done on the two 36-inch storm sewer lines that run down Lola Street.

"When we get these heavy 100-year storms like we did last year, the heavy rains exceed the capacity of the system," Short said.

Short said cracks, holes and illegal connections in the sanitary sewer lines could also contribute to the flooding problem.

"In order to tell where those are and what the extent of those are, we need to do an evaluation that would be comprised of a combination of smoke testing and video inspection of those lines," Short said. "Until that is done, we don't know the extent of the problem."

Short said inspection of the lines would cost an estimated $125,000 and $150,000. Once the inspection is done, cost of repairs could then be determined.

"I do recommend we do the testing so we can identify the extent of the problem," Short said.

Soliz asked fellow council members to take action.

"I think this is something that is very necessary for the neighborhood to know where we're at with the infrastructure," he said.

Council members agreed.

Deputy city manager Charmelle Garrett said negotiations with a contractor would be necessary as well as a budget amendment to pay for the project.

"We'll work on it quickly," she said.

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