Weatherford Democrat

Local News

October 20, 2013

WP councilman accuses city officials of trying to hide TCEQ sewage treatment fines

(Continued)

The city selected an engineer for the lift station upgrade project in Spring 2011 and accepted bids on the project earlier this year, according to Shaffstall.

A contract with North Texas Contracting to complete the work for no more than $1,125,168 was originally scheduled to be on city council’s the agenda Oct. 15 but was rescheduled for Oct. 22, which would allow for a Dec. 1 start date.

“This process is long overdue,” Shaffstall said, adding that he is doing his best to get it under construction and that the project should be completed within six months after that begins.

The budget also includes a couple of capital improvements to address issues, as well, council was told.

“The other issues about who knew what when, why people didn’t know, under city attorney advisement, is not relevant to the conversation,” Shaffstall said.

“Well, it is relevant to the conversation,” Suchocki said.

The recent order isn’t the first time TCEQ has taken enforcement action against the city regarding the wastewater treatment plant.

In January of 2012, the Democrat reported that the city had paid nearly $22,000 in fines and received more than 30 notices of violations since 2007.

After a June 2011 inspection showed the quality of water discharged into a nearby creek did not meet compliance standards on multiple occasions, the city entered into its third agreed order assessing penalties, though the fines were lowered because nearly all violations were self-reported.

A copy of the most recent TCEQ order is available on the city’s website under the public works section.

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