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Phase I of Comprehensive Storm Drainage Project almost complete

This article originally appeared in the Friday July 26, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.

Prior to the regular called city council meeting, a joint workshop with the drainage committee was held at Mission City Hall.

The workshop was held in order for Ponciano Longoria from TEDSI Infrastructure Group to give an update on the Comprehensive Storm Drainage Project that is currently underway for the city of Mission. According to Longoria, the group is almost complete with Phase I.

City of Mission logo“We’re still doing data collection,” Longoria said. “There’s a total of over 1,000 manholes within the city limits for the storm systems, and out of the 1,000 there’s roughly 675 manholes without any data, so our crews are out there picking up that information.”

The project was started last year following the heavy rainfall that affected the entire Rio Grande Valley, including Mission and Mission residents. Phase I of the project is expected to be complete by mid-August as TEDSI is 80 percent complete with data collection.

“It helps us with the programs to learn the hydraulics aspect of all the systems and outposts,” Longoria said. “And it prepares us to see what needs to be improved. So the data is a very important part of this project.”

As the group completes Phase I, they are working on public outreach and coordinating meetings. The city of Mission sent TEDSI a list of constituents who would like to meet with them, so the infrastructure group plans on holding two constituents meetings (July 30 and Aug. 1 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.) and a public meeting (Wed. Aug. 14 at the Mission Event Center) in order to keep people informed.

“We’ll be working with them [the constituents] both ways [in person and during the meetings] before the deadlines,” Longoria said. “We’ll be calling them again to make sure they all received letters.”

Longoria went over how the city is being assisted with applying for grants to cover the costs of the drainage assessment, including the Hazard Mitigation Grant. He also touched on four drainage projects currently underway and the next steps of the projects.

“We’re going to be doing the hydrologic analysis and we’re also performing a hydraulic analysis for the entire city,” Longoria said. “We’re preparing grant-supporting documents – that was in Phase III, but we moved it to Phase I because the grants came out early.”

During the regular called meeting Sharon Ellison, a resident in Mission, came forward once again to dispute the approval of the sale and on-site consumption of alcohol at the Whistling Duck, located at 1603 E. Griffin Parkway. Ellison has made her opinion of the noise levels coming from the business known to council and the planning and zoning committee over several meetings.

Ellison, who lives behind the Whistling Duck in a residential neighborhood, said she has been living in Mission for 17 years. When she bought her house, the location where Whistling Duck is currently was an adult day care.

“I’m the lone voice in the wilderness crying out about the noise,” Ellison said, noting that she has called the Mission Police Department non-emergency line many times. “I’m within 100 feet of that place. I am not supposed to hear what’s going on in their building inside my house.”

Council member Jessica Ortega-Ochoa asked the business owner, Jaime Morales, if there were any more ways for them to further muffle the sound coming from music in the Whistling Duck. He said that while they have already implemented soundproof elements on the back wall/area of the restaurant, he would look into more paneling.

Ellison said she did not agree with what Morales said, but because the public hearing was closed, she could not speak on it to council. Council approved the conditional use permit for the Whistling Duck without further discussion.

Toward the end of the city council meeting, council approved the presentation of the preliminary budget, and set a date for the public hearing, which will be held Aug. 12, 2019.

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