Pattison eyes infrastructure needs

By R. Hans Miller, News Editor
Posted 11/17/21

During a Nov. 7 special meeting, Pattison City Council members addressed planning for the future of the town by examining infrastructure. Projects considered included regional wastewater and fire …

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Pattison eyes infrastructure needs

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During a Nov. 7 special meeting, Pattison City Council members addressed planning for the future of the town by examining infrastructure. Projects considered included regional wastewater and fire protection surveys, city limit boundary clarifications and beginning the remodel of the new Pattison City Hall at 3410 First Street.

“The locks on the doors and the doors themselves are very old and not secure. This building is over 40 years old. I’d like to secure the buildings safely and secure the locks,” Mayor Joe Garcia said.

Council unanimously voted to replace the doors and locks on the building as well as the HVAC system. They also approved the removal of trees that presented a falling hazard and a shed on the property that has fallen into disrepair. The facility's septic system will also be repaired or replaced. Council members approved a budget of about $150,000 to purchase and remodel the building to meet the city’s needs.

Garcia said that, while the project may be expensive, it still saves the city money in comparison to building the facility from the ground up and a city hall has been a need for some time.

“Our city council before had discussed a city hall going back into the 70s,” Garcia said. “In the 80s they had designed a city hall in Pattison for a cost of about $46,000 which included a bay for the fire department. … I’m very proud to say that we have a city hall tonight because it’s taken us almost 50 years of city history to get there.”

City Engineer Charles Kalkomey, a contractor through civil engineering firm Jones and Carter, and Garcia also discussed two surveys with council members.

The first survey is a proposed regional wastewater survey that would examine the costs and feasibility of creating a regional wastewater treatment facility for Pattison and the surrounding area. Currently, Pattison residents are on septic systems; however, those systems are suspected to be close to their end of life and will need to be replaced in some manner. Garcia said the city had about 160 on-site septic systems back in the 1970s when this issue was first examined and he is checking with Waller County to see how that number has grown since then. Garcia said he had reached out to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to discuss any grant or assistance programs the city might participate in to mitigate any impact to the city’s budget. TCEQ told him there may be an opportunity for an 80/20 split in costs, depending on Pattison’s qualifications. The city does not currently assess a property tax against residents to pay for such items and is dependent on sales tax revenues, Garcia said.

A similar study was proposed for fire protection.

“Our protection we have now is totally contingent on a limited water supply system,” Garcia said. “Our protection that we get now would be basically chlorinated water.”

Garcia noted that any serious demand on the city’s current water supply, such as in the event of a fire, would decrease water pressure for all residents. While he said the city is fortunate to have a good fire department with the tools they need to fight fire, without a sufficient water supply, that protection could be hampered. Nearby wells on rice fields and other options could be looked at to supplement the city’s firefighting needs, Garcia said.

The city’s current water system that its fire hydrants are connected to has four-inch to six-inch lines, Garcia said. Ideally, a fire hydrant should have a 12-inch line that is tapered down to an eight-inch line to increase pressure at the hydrant, he said.

While the study was approved, council members observed that three entities would have to look at who was responsible for any improvements.

“We’ve got three entities,” Council Member Seth Stokes said. “You’ve got the fire station. You’ve got the (Pattison Water Supply Corporation board) and the city. Who’s responsibility are all of these pieces?”

The next Pattison City Council meeting is set for Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Royal ISD Administration Building at 3714 FM 359 in Pattison.

Pattison

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