Council tackles drainage

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The Sealy City Council discussed drainage priorities during a brief meeting last week.

Council members also talked about the potential sale of certificates of obligation for capital projects, including drainage, as requested by Councilman Larry Koy.

Koy said he wanted to work with city engineers or hold a budget workshop on the following drainage projects:

• Design a deeper and wider channel at Allen’s Creek between Rexville Road and I-10 feeder road.

• Create an easement and channel for drainage on the west side at F.M. 3538 to Wal-Mart.

• Add drainage pipes at Eighth Street and Fowlkes Street to the drainage ditch between Front and Fowlkes.

• Improve the flow line at Allen’s Creek to the railroad tracks.

City Manager Lloyd Merrell said budget workshops likely will be held in mid-July. Cost estimates could be determined prior to the workshops, Mayor Janice Whitehead suggested. City staff agreed to look into the projects and determine a scope of work and potential costs.

During the June 26 meeting, the council also approved a resolution adopting the city’s amended drainage manual and repealing any policies inconsistent or in conflict with the resolution and providing for severability. Council members Jennifer Sullivan and Larry Koy were opposed, and others expressed reservations.

“I still have heartburn about it,” said Councilman John Hinze. “I think I would probably agree more if we asked for additional footage for our development or our proposed drainage plan … The way it’s written, we’re not going to affect what’s down the road; we’re just trying to mitigate what we currently have. That’s not really helping us do what we’re trying to do. We’re just trying to stay at an even keel rather than solve our drainage problem.”

Koy added that he would like more clarification on how the county is assisting with water flow coming in from the north and going out to the south.

“I wish we could hold off until a master drainage plan is laid out and we’re all on the same page,” he said.

Sullivan said she was concerned that a regional detention facility has not been defined.

“That broad definition or vague understanding could be misused,” she said.

Councilman Chris Noack said he has reviewed drainage manuals from several other cities and found that almost all contained verbiage that “strictly called out off-site drainage and on-site drainage.”

“Is it more common to have that verbiage than not?” he asked.

In other matters during the June 26 meeting, council:

• Authorized Mayor Janice Whitehead to execute an audit engagement letter with Belt Harris Pechacek, LLLP, to perform the annual independent audit for the city for fiscal year 2017-2018. The city has used this firm for its annual audit for the past five years.

• Appointed Chris Beckendorff and Aya Reimer to the Main Street Advisory Board.

• Appointed Theadra “Cookie” Curry to the Planning Commission.

• Announced that the city’s Main Street status is on probation.

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