|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Water well grant approved
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY — Although the contracts have not yet been signed, an emergency $250,000 grant has been approved to replace a Trinity city water well that died earlier this year. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples notified the city last month that the Texas Department of Agriculture's Urgent Need Fund would provide the funds needed to replace the well. Trinity City Manager Buddy Drake said that as a result of the approval, the city hopes to have a new water well in operation sometime this fall. Because of the failure of the well – the oldest of three operated by the city – Trinity residents were placed under Stage 3 (severe) mandatory water use restrictions in March. Drake noted that as summer temperatures continue to climb and rainfall amounts decrease, it will become more imperative that city residents curtail water use until the new well is up and running. The city's two remaining wells currently are producing a combined 500 gallons per minute (gpm) while the city has access to an additional 354 gpm from the Trinity River Authority's Trinity County Regional Water System. The current production capacity now stands at 854 gpm. Under state rules, the city is supposed to have a capacity of 0.6 gpm for each of its water connections. Because Trinity has 1,768 connections, the required capacity is 1,061 gpm. The Stage 3 drought response is designed to reduce water usage by 25 percent and imposes major limitations on all outdoor water usage. Under stage 3, all irrigation of landscaped areas such as lawns and gardens is prohibited. Cars, trucks, boats, trailers and other vehicles may only be washed at commercial car wash stations and only between the hours of 6-10 a.m. and 6-10 p.m. The filling or adding of water to swimming pools, wading pools and Jacuzzi-type pools is prohibited. The operation of ornamental fountains or ponds is prohibited except where necessary to support aquatic life or where such fountains or ponds have been equipped with recirculation systems. Also prohibited under Stage 3 is: • The washing down of sidewalks, driveways, parking lots or other hard surfaces. • The use of water to wash buildings or other structures other than for immediate fire protection. • The use of water for dust control. • Flushing gutters or permitting water to run or accumulate in any gutter or street. In addition, citations also may be issued to property owners who fail to repair a controllable water leak within a reasonable time after being given notice to repair the leak. Stage 3 is the highest drought response level the city has ever had to implement under its water ordinances. The highest level, Stage 4, has never been used and imposes water rationing. Those found guilty of violating the Stage 3 restrictions can face fines of from $50 to $200 for each offenses and each day of violation is considered to be a separate offense. Those who have been convicted for three or more violations are also subject to having their water disconnected by the city. Grants top $5 million The $250,000 approved by TDA for the water well replacement pushes the total state and federal grant money received by the city since 2010 to over $5 million. The largest grant received during this period is a $1.311,690 award from the Texas Department of Transportation to complete the downtown sidewalk replacement and to fund a "pedestrian walking trail" that will run west on Main Street to Maple, south on Maple to Stadium, east on Stadium to South Robb (Highway 19), south on South Robb to FM 1617 and south on FM 1617 to the apartments at Leroy Hardy Circle. The city also received a federal Ike Round 2.2 grant of $1,048,918 to help prepare the city for another natural disaster such as Hurricane Ike. Under this program, the city will rehabilitate all six of its sewage lift stations, make major improvements to its sewage treatment plant and pave 18 or 19 streets. Other grants include: • $770,000 (estimated) HOME project grant to build new homes for qualified Trinity residents. The initial $770,000 is expected to cover the cost of 11 homes and the city could then apply for another $770,000 to do 11 more. • $750,000 industrial development grant used to install utilities and a road at the Trinity Business Park. • $570,000 to build a new elevated water storage tank near the Trinity High School campus. Although the money is part of Trinity County's Ike Round 2.2 money, county commissioners have agreed to fund the construction of the tank, which will them be turned over to the city to operate and maintain. The tank is designed to insure the high school – which is a designated shelter – has adequate water during an emergency. • $275,000 Community Development Block Grant used by the city to fund water and sewer improvements. • $150,000 TDA grant used to fund the recently completed sidewalk improvements in downtown Trinity.