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Houston County Courier - Local News

Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company

Drilling, draining, planning
Houston County Courier

By Lynda Jones

One might describe the Grapeland City Council meeting Tuesday, May 14, as much ado about water. After earlier reports that the city's water well project was over before it started, City Superintendent Mike Dillow announced the project is still on . . . the well just won't be as big as the city originally planned. Instead of a 12x8 well, the city will drill a 10x6 well. The smaller size, Dillow explained, should be more than adequate for the city's needs. Dillow said bids for the project will be opened at 10 a.m. Monday, May 20. In other business, the council unanimously voted to accept a construction bid for the city's part of the Market St. Drainage Project. The winning bid of $54,000 went to Angelina Excavation, the same company that contracted with the city for recent road improvements. Dillow said the City of Grapeland's portion of the drainage project can begin now that council has approved the bid. He added that TxDOT will begin their portion of the work in September. Planning for the city's future water needs and considering how the Houston County Water Control and Improvement District (HCWC&ID) fi ts in the picture spawned a lengthy discussion with Tex Terry, HCWC&ID manager. The city's current 40-year contract expires in September. When Council Member Danny Lumbreraz asked if the new contract would be the same as the old one, Terry said, "It will be long." He predicted it would be at least a 30-year year contract. Amid discussion on the pros and cons of opting out of renewing the contract since the city is getting a new well, both Mayor George Pierson and Terry shared the opinion that renewing the contract would be a win-win situation for both the City of Grapeland and the water district. Terry expressed concern that if Grapeland does not continue with the water district, the district might have to return to charging an ad valorem tax. He additionally said opting out could mean a loss of water supply for southern Grapeland residents in the Little Elkhart Creek area, explaining the new well is in the northern part of the municipality. "Consolidated doesn't have to pick up your customers. They may, but they don't have to," Terry said. Attorneys for the water district will draw up a contract for the council to review and sign before Sept. 1 when the current one expires. In other business, the council reluctantly accepted the resignation of City Superintendent Mike Dillow. Dillow is taking a position with the City of Fairfi eld.


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