Fast forwarding to present day, this paradise needs to be maintained. As we all know this isnít free and we all need to pitch in our share. I donít like it either, having to open my wallet and handing over my hard-earned money to a board of directors with hopes they will spend it just like I would. I understand thatís asking a lot, but it is how I feel. Because I have worked in the construction industry most of my life, wearing many hats along the way I am knowledgeable and critical of how our money is spent. It is the duty of the board of directors to be good stewards to the community they represent. I want to be crystal clear to everyone that I am not slighting their integrity or the intent of the current or past board. If I were on the board I would have encouraged dialog from all the board members and the community. Our best results are achieved through the minds of many.
I stated in my first post that I would be more technical and specific to the scope of work. Here we go.
The most recent upgrade as it has been referred to, that could potentially save the district $800-$1000 per month with a total design and construction cost of $270,000 dollars is called a band aid (in the industry) If I was on the board I would have voted no. Many questions would have been presented to the engineering firm that was hired for consult and design of this system. Not only did they over engineer the non-potable water system, it wasnít necessary to control the buildup of foam. There is a chemistry imbalance in the treatment plant that has been allowed to fester for many years. The fine screen was damaged after IKE and is being bypassed allowing organic solids into the plant causing thick, greasy dark-tan foam to form covering most of the aeration basin surface. The probable cause is that the aeration basin is critically under loaded (excessive solids due to insufficient wasting). The solids would normally be screened out. Spraying high pressure water to control the foaming problem only masked the problem. Millions of gallons of water have been sprayed on the foam to contain it. Potable water that we paid for. The new system as the name implies (non-potable water) is used now. I wish they would have applied the $270,000 towards repairing the fine screen. Once the fine screen is rebuilt this over engineered non-potable water system wonít be needed. A simple fixed displacement pump system along with minimal controls is all that would be required.
The engineering firm is lacking detailed analysis in their assessment regarding replacement of major components. They are recommending primarily based on age. We live in a throw away world. These major components are not meant to be tossed to the curb. They are designed to be maintained and refurbished when necessary. I asked the engineering firm just a few questions with regards to their assessment and recommendations. They said no, there wasnít a load test performed on the generators they say need replacement at a cost of $500,000. I canít justify that replacement if they are functioning properly.
They recommend replacement of our water storage tank. These tanks arenít normally replaced they are refurbished. No x-rays or PT was performed, just a visual analysis. I would like you to picture dozens of trucks and large pieces of equipment necessary to replace the tank, disrupting traffic flow not to mention the inflated cost of $700,000 for a top of the line tank. Stating it has a lengthy warranty (60 Yrs.) Yet the last one they sold has only been in service 12yrs. Letís not forget the property damage that will occur from this heavy equipment. Weíll be repairing roads after that. Thatís not figured in to the costs. We can refurbish the tanks at half the cost and theyíll look like new and the water leaving the tanks will meet TCEQ standards and be pleasing to everyone.
No one is talking about our water distribution system that is in dire need of attention. We want clean water, but we wonít get it pumping clean water through old corroded pipes that canít be flushed properly.
Thereís a lot to be done folks. We need this bond. I really donít like saying it, but it is necessary to get us pointed in the right direction. I feel the board is in over there head here. No disrespect to anyone of them. We just need direction from someone who isnít in it for the profit. Iím referring to the engineering firm. I have current experience and feel that I can lead us to a better tomorrow.
In my next post I will dive into maintaining our waterways.
Above allÖ trust, unity, confidence and team work are essential for our success.
Running for director position #3