By Debby Schamber
The Orange Leader
Pinehurst officials will soon be informing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of the city’s plans to enter into a sanitary sewer overflow initiative.
That step was brought about when TCEQ officials informed the city last week that the commission had conducted an inspection of the wastewater plant in June and discovered the city did notify the commission of a problem it was having with its system as required.
The city of Pinehurst has a permit to discharge 500,000 gallons of waste per day. However, if the sewer system gets to 75 percent of the permitted flow (375,000 gallons) or if it exceeds that amount for three consecutive months, TCEQ has to be notified.
The statewide initiative Pinehurst plans to enact can alleviate some of the fines associated with the violations. However, Pinehurst officials would have to stick to the approved plans. The council will have six months to come up with a plan and up to 10 years to follow it through.
Council members said they hope to be able to forego sending the fine money to the state and instead spend it on environmental improvements within in the city.
Pinehurst was cited for the same problem in 2003, and the city was issued a notice of violation. Because of the repeated violation, Pinehurst is now in the enforcement stage.
“The city didn’t get into this difficulty overnight and we are not going to get out of it overnight,” said Dan Robertson, city administrator.
In other council business, a flood-damage prevention ordinance was adopted, enabling residents to acquire flood plane insurance.
T.W. Permenter announced a committee is still working on the proposed landscaping ordinance. The cities of Orange and West Orange are also looking to adopt the ordinance.
Robertson announced the city has received a $156,000 check from the Stark Foundation to purchase a grapple truck. The truck will be used for demolition projects.
Robertson also informed the council the Whippoorwill Grant was denied.
“The grant was going to be used for new sewer pipes to help inflow and infiltration,” Robertson said.
Although still a work in progress, the city has a new Web site. The address is cityofpinehurst.com.
Council members unanimously agreed to have a workshop on the second Tuesday of the month and a council meeting on the fourth Tuesday. However, before it becomes official the item will have to placed on the next agenda.