City officials just don’t get it
May 24, 2013 | 1574 views | 2 2 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The voters of this city just turned down a request by city officials to sell a $15 million bond issue for the purpose of digging two new water wells and building a desalinization plant. City officials are now talking about finding another way to finance the project!

In other words, they seem determined to ignore the voter’s wishes. There is another way to achieve the objective. All we have to do is follow the recommendations of the HDR report completed in 2012. The city paid many thousands of dollars for this report and then did nothing with it. In this report, HDR cited that the water contained in the aquifer located underneath the Chase Field area is the best water around. Using this water would not require the building of a desalination plant, the most costly part of the system that city officials want to ram down our throats. Drilling new wells, as recommended by the DHR report, over that aquifer would cost much less than the $15 million they’re set on spending.

City Council members seem adamant in spending money provided by the citizens of this community. Just why is it so difficult for the city to go out for bids on this project? Am I missing something here or is this a personal thing between the city officials and someone else trying to help?

And while they’re at it, they can also find a different way to finance this project. Placing the entire burden all on the citizens of this community is not the only way. There are other ways. Maybe they need some help there too. That can be arranged if we don’t have the expertise on our city’s staff.

The results of the election surely must mean something to the City Council members. They failed and need to accept that and find another way to get us water. The other way is if they would just quit dragging their feet. It’s time for city officials to act responsibly and do the jobs that they were elected or hired to do. It’s their responsibility.

Arnold Medina

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May 25, 2013
Someone needs to get it right. The 2 wells and desal plant were projected to cost $12.3. Not $15 million. $2.7 million was to go into the wastewater treatment facility and to put an Automatic Meter Reading system in place.

You forgot to mention the HDR plan calls for 10 wells to be drilled at the cost of over $12 million, $12,647,000 to be exact. And that price doesn't include the possibility of having to build a Pre Treatment facility to deal with the high levels of Iron and and Manganese. That total cost for the project will cost over $15 million. $15,987,000 to be exact. Throw in the cost to purchase the raw water (water belonging to the citizens of this community) from the BDA, and you have a plan that is unreasonable. Especially if they can drill on city property and not have to worry about paying for the raw water. That's probably the reason the city did nothing with the HDR plan.

And yes, you are missing something. You forgot to mention the city paid about $100,000 for the HDR report. And you also forgot to mention the HDR firm was hired on the recommendation of the BDA Executive Director. Not by going out for bids. It turns out both Joe Montez and Carl Krull are old buddies from their days of working together at the City of Corpus Christi. Now isn't THAT interesting?
May 27, 2013
The issue on the election was for the City to be allowed to sell a $15,000,000 bond package without any details. That was what the voters rejected, get it?

And you forgot to mention that the drilling of 10 wells was for a 3 phase plan on a as needed basis. This was to be done over a long period of time. Phase 1 called for 4 new wells being drilled which would provide our immediate water needs in case it just stops raining. The cost for this phase would be less than $5,000,000. Accomplishing the project in that manner would allow the City to find other ways of financing the task including applying for grants which if/when available would be much less costly to the taxpayers.

The point of my letter was to demonstrate that the City Officials acted hastily in their decision to ask for passage of the $15M bond issue and ignored other possible ways to accomplish their task . The scare tactic of “it ain’t gonna rain no more” failed miserably My letter also pointed out that they weren’t very imaginative in exploring other financial avenues. It seems as if we have the blind leading the blind at the City administrative level. Just what was the rush? It could very well be that the building of a desalinization plant is still the best option. However, the taxpayers are not swallowing that until all other options have been properly researched. Just how much does it really cost to drill 4 new wells or 10 for that matter? We won’t know that until we ask for bids. Get it?

Thanks for pointing out the cost ($100,000) for the HDR report. That seems like a lot of money for the City Officials to just throw out the window, once again showing the lack of responsibility on their part. Just what was their reason for doing that?

You mention that the reason for ignoring the HDR report might be because HDR was recommended by previous City Manager Joe Montez. You also imply that there is something wrong with the prior relationship of Joe Montez and Carl Krull. Just what were you alluding to in your “that’s interesting” statement? Are you implying that there is something illegal about this issue? If so maybe you could enlighten everyone on just what you meant. By the way, the City does not have to ask for bids for service contracts. Did they go out for bids for the desalinization project? Additionally, since you’re so informed about costs, how much did the City spend for that study?