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Council takes over sewer disconnects

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, October 26, 2013

Plans may be moving along slowly, but Paradise city officials are still researching the most financially sound way to implement its first sewer system.

And they still want to collaborate with the Paradise ISD.

With the exception of the school district – which has its own system – and six houses connected to that, no homes and businesses inside the city limits are connected to a sewer system.

City officials acknowledge the need to implement a system in order to grow, but they haven’t determined when or how to do so.

The school district is operating a sewer system at 85 percent capacity and must begin corrective action to address that. School officials have called a $3.25 million bond election to fund improvements, additions and updates to the district’s wastewater treatment plant.

But according to city officials, the district is looking to get out of the sewer business and has asked the city to take over.

“If we want to see growth, we need to have a sewer system,” City Secretary Teresa Moody said. “We don’t want to create a debt beyond what is needed and end up double-taxing the residents if we go out and implement our own system separately. We want to make sure we make the best decision for the people of the town.”

At its meeting Monday, the council approved an agreement with Paradise ISD to take over disconnections due to non-payment for the six houses connected to the school’s sewer system.

According to city officials, the small formality speaks of a greater intent.

“This was more a good faith effort to show the district that we do want to work with you to figure out what’s in the best interest of everyone involved,” Moody said. “When you have two legal entities with two different sets of consultants and attorneys, two different groups of constituents, there’s a lot of negotiating that has to happen.”

City officials will continue hashing out the issue during a special meeting 6:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

They anticipate most of the meeting be held in closed session while council members consult with the city’s utilities attorney.

IN OTHER NEWS

The council also:

  • established a $300 fee for water meter removal and installation.
  • approved final amendments to the 2012-2013 budget. “While several line items went over the amount budgeted, there were many that came in under budget,” Moody said. “The city received a lot more sales tax than had been budgeted for.”
  • OK’d temporarily closing Cemetery Road and Stadium Drive for the Paradise Prowl Color 5K Run fundraiser Sunday, Nov. 3. The 1-mile fun run/walk is at 2 p.m., and the 5K is at 3. The 5K chip-timed race includes seven age categories. Register online at www.onestoprace.com or print off a form at www.pisd.net.
  • tabled for further discussion establishing fees and guidelines for animal control service.

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