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City hires help to get Odem Street Wastewater Treatment Plant permit

By Brian Cuaron
May 17, 2011 at 12:17 a.m.

WILL COUNCIL VOTE FOR APPLE'S iPADS?The city council may replace the desktop computers they use during council meetings with Apple iPads.

The desktop computers are 9 years old and to upgrade them would cost $1,500. An iPad, however, would cost $699.

However, others who have meetings in the council chambers wouldn't have access to those iPads and that would be an issue should the desktop computers leave, said O.C. Garza, city director of communications.

He said the council hopes to address the computer issue by the end of the fiscal year.

Councilman Joe Truman has been a guinea pig of sorts, trying out an iPad and giving a report to the council about it on Tuesday. "I want it," he said.

NEW DROUGHT CONTINGENCY PLAN APPROVEDThe city council approved a new drought contingency plan.

Right now the city is only able to use 10 percent of the Guadalupe River's water flow since it has fallen below the normal flow of 687 cubic feet per second. If that continues for the next 10 days, then the city will go into the voluntary water restrictions phase of its new drought contingency plan.

Should the water flow get too low and the city not be allowed to draw from the river, the city will go into mandatory water restrictions.

The Victoria city council approved a $50,000 engineering services contract to help it secure a permit for the new wastewater treatment plant.

The measure passed 4-2 with councilmen David Hagan and Gabriel Soliz voting in opposition. Councilman Paul Polasek was absent from the meeting.

The contract with Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc., will have them provide expert testimony and depositions that may be required by the permitting process, as well as the preparation of any required exhibits or documents.

The proposed Odem Street Wastewater Treatment Plant would be on the corner of Odem Street and Hand Road.

However, Mayor Will Armstrong said that the contract's price tag could rise if the city needs to call in expert witnesses.

"Those few people that are protesting this could run the price up considerably," Armstrong said.

Henry Perez, who has fought against the proposed plant that will be near his house, urged the council to vote against the measure. His former ally on the matter, Councilman Joe Truman, supported the contract.

Truman, calling Perez a good Victoria resident, said he knew nobody wants to live near a sewer plant. Yet he said the city needs a wastewater treatment plant.

"It's like, 'Well, we lost that fight and now it's time to be a responsible councilman,'" said Truman, explaining his vote.

He added that the engineering services will point out any weaknesses with the proposed plant. He added he has walked around a modern wastewater treatment plant near Austin and he couldn't smell any sewage.

Despite all that, Perez still has one question: "How would you like to have a sewer plant built next to your house?"



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