The Palmview City Council on Tuesday authorized the city attorney and the city manager to take any action necessary to address the city’s top priority: street paving.
After meeting in executive session, the City Council handed City Manager Michael Leo and City Attorney Eric Flores broad authority “to ensure our streets get paved.” City Councilman Joel Garcia made the motion, which passed unanimously.
“After hearing from the citizens at the round-table discussion and speaking with the councilmembers, they’ve given the city manager and myself the authority to go out and find a potential solution — whatever it may be — to ensure that these streets get paved,” Flores said.
Palmview, however, can’t unilaterally start paving city streets.
Contractors hired by the Agua Special Utility District started installing sewer pipes throughout Palmview in 2017.
Edinburg-based OG Construction handled one half of the project. Mercedes-based L&G Construction handled the other half.
The project required them to dig up city streets, install sewer pipes and rebuild the roadways. Two years later, the work is nearly finished but many streets remain a mess.
OG Construction blames the utility district, claiming the utility district is refusing to conduct a final walk-through and issue a certificate of substantial completion, which would allow the streets to be paved.
The utility district blames OG Construction, claiming the company must finish the project and fix defects before the streets can be paved.
Palmview, which is caught in the middle, just wants the project completed. The city hired Peñitas-based Earthworks Enterprise to handle the street paving.
Humberto “Beto” Garcia, the owner of Earthworks Enterprise, discussed the project with the City Council on Tuesday night.
The last street released to Earthworks Enterprise for paving was Champion Lane, which is located near the intersection of La Homa Road and East Veterans Drive.
“That puts us current and nothing else pending,” Beto Garcia said, with the exception of three or four patches on Carlos Street.
When the remaining streets will be released for paving remains unclear.
“So as soon as they release them, you’re ready to pave them, right?” Joel Garcia said.
Beto Garcia said yes, with a caveat.
“Yeah. I hope what ends up not happening is that they
release all 10 streets or however many are left over, and then I have to do them all at once,” Beto Garcia said, adding that everybody will want their streets paved simultaneously. “We’ll deal with it when that gets there.”
Leo, the city manager, said that’s a distinct possibility.
“Maybe not all 10,” Leo said. “But maybe five.”
Work on South La Homa Road, Farm-to-Market Road 495 from Minnesota Road to Abram Road, with the exception of a small part near Melo’s Lane; and Patriot Street should be released for paving soon, Leo said, along with Tower Road.
“It’s just a matter of Agua and the contractor finalizing whatever they need to do,” Leo said.
This article originally appeared in the Friday Nov. 1, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.