By CRISTIN REECE
PALESTINE — The heavy rains that deluged the area over the Halloween are now costing the city of Palestine.
Palestine council members approved the cost of replacing the automatic fine-screened barscreen at the Town Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant during a regular council meeting held Tuesday.
“We received eight to 11 inches of rain in a 24-hour period,” Palestine Utility Director Robert Sedgwick told council members Tuesday as he presented photos of the damaged equipment. “This piece of equipment is used to remove the solids from the water that comes through the plant. There were so many solids, rocks and other debris, coming through that day, it damaged these screens.”
Sedgwick said the total cost of the replacement parts from manufacturer Vulcan Industries, is $15,750, which would be covered by the city's Wastewater Treatment fund, which currently has a fund balance of $110,000.
“Our own staff would do the actual change out and we're also filing on our insurance as an act of God to help recoup some of the cost,” Sedgwick said.
Councilman Mark Price said, “It's amazing how much this machine pulls out — we're talking clothing, animals, all kinds of things — it's a very important piece of equipment.”
In a related but separate matter, the Council also approved a change order to plans for Phase 2B of the city's sanitary sewer rehabilitation for $35,545. The new contract amount will be $836,144, Sedgwick said, adding the original contract total was for $950,000 originally available for this contract.
“This is the only change order for this project and it is for quantity adjustments as per the original unit prices,” Sedgwick said.
The project is one of several aimed at improving the city's wastewater and sewer infrastructure.
Also on Tuesday, the council:
• APPROVED a low-interest low of up to $500,000 from the East Texas Council of Governments to help pay for construction projects related to the Sanderson Farms project.
• APPROVED a resolution authorizing the appointment of Councilman Mark Price to the Anderson County Appraisal Central District board of directors.
• APPROVED a resolution approving financing by the Palestine Health Facilities Corporation for Cartmell Foundation Project.
• APPROVED flying the flags at half-staff on Nov. 22 to observe the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
• APPROVED recommendations of the Palestine Economic Development Corporation regarding drainage issues at Willow Creek Business Park.
The Palestine City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. every second and fourth Mondays of the month in the council chambers at Palestine City Hall, 504 N. Queen St., Palestine.