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Palmview lift station raises concerns

The Palmview Wastewater System calls for the construction of four lift stations with a capacity to hold 2 million gallons of water each. However, at their latest meeting the Agua board of directors addressed rumors that the city of Palmview is moving forward with plans to build their own lift station, which the Agua interim general manager says is a violation of Agua’s rules.


Interim General Manager Jose “Eddie” Saenz said at that meeting the city has yet to turn in an application for the project, which he said is grounds to stop the project.

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“No application has been submitted. It’s standard rules of Agua since you all are the utility service that provides water and service within this region,” Saenz told the board. “Palmview not handing in anything presents a dilemma as they do not have legal authority to do the lift station. I can’t speak for the city as to why they’re doing it but that is in violation of your rules.”


The discussion came after the Jan. 17 workshop between the city of Palmview and Agua to discuss the Palmview Sewer Collection Project and the interlocal agreements needed for the project.


When reached by the Progress Times, Olivares said Wednesday the city hasn’t sent an application because Agua no longer wants an application from the city but rather from the property owner.


Sanz, however said that the city still needs to turn in an application if they are the developer of the project.


“We want an application from whoever is the developer. If its the owner of the property, then that’s who we get it from. If it’s the city, which we were told they were, and if they have an agreement with the owner of the property, then we need an application from them,” Saenz said. “Bottom line we don’t have an application.”


When asked for a comment, Palmview interim city Manager Leo Olivares said the city has only started on construction on collection lines to the lift station, not on building the actual lift station.


“This is not part of the $42 million wastewater project, it’s kind of a side project predating my arrival here,” he said. “The project is to provide wastewater collection services in the area east of La Homa and Frontage Roads and is being financed by the Palmview Municipal Development District with a budget of $600K. As the wastewater project is expected to be completed within two years, we’re looking to use this lift station and collection line to expedite development in that area before then.”


According to Olivares, the plan is for the city to only finance construction of the lift station and gift it to Agua and Mission’s Wastewater Treatment Plant so they can operate it. Because of that, the city doesn’t need a certificate of convenience and necessity for the water rights, which are exclusively held by Agua.


Saenz however, expressed dismay at the lift station, especially since without the application, Agua cannot determine how much it would cost to keep it operational.


“There basically isn’t a project without a application to determine the demand for the construction,” Saenz said. “With the application we determine the demand for what type of meter would serve the development, it’s why we’ve been asking for that application since the workshop. It’s not OK they did this without an application. We need to learn what design this city will serve so we can determine how much work Agua will be required of to serve the property. It’s the city’s part to get that paper to us .”

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