Posted by : January 1, 2015| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
TOOL–West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District directors approved the installation of two larger, better protected water ground storage tanks and pump in the wake of a tank collapse in December.
The new purchase will increase water storage capacity to 2 million gallons at the Tool water plant and add 75 years to the new tanks’ 25-year life-span.
While no firm estimates on the costs were known during the utility’s Dec. 22 meeting, directors agreed to a high guess of $650,000 provided by general manager Tony Ciardo.
“Insurance will cover some of it, don’t know how much,” Ciardo said. “We’ve got the money (up to $750,000) to do it.”
On Dec. 9, 2014 the water plant’s 150,000-gallon water storage tank collapsed, losing an estimated 130,000 gallons of treated water. “We were lucky no one was hurt or killed,” Ciardo said. Four employees could have been in jeopardy, he added.
“I’ve never seen a tank fail the way this one did,” he added. “We could have had four funerals. We were lucky.”
The tank was near the end of its life-span, in service for 23 years. “It popped one bolt and it was gone,” Ciardo said. “It was very unusual.”
Ciardo outlined two ways to replace the storage facility to directors, but recommended choosing the one with the higher price tag because it would be of greatest savings to the district over the long haul. Directors agreed unanimously with the recommendation after having both alternatives fully explained and asking a number of questions.
Directors present included Jim Scrimshire, Bruce Thurston, Eldon Cox, Wanda Smith and David Lewis, overseen by board president Clifton Smith.
Currently, water is being delivered to customers, including the meters in Kemp through the Tolosa Water Plant, Ciardo said.
While the Tool plant is off-line, Ciardo said the motors are being reworked, drain valves replaced and a second water tank being disinfected.
“The Tolosa plant is running at half capacity under tight pressure in order to feed the whole system with much of the water coming from the elevated tower in Seven Points,” he explained.
“It’s difficult but as long as temperatures don’t get below 10 degrees Celsius, we will still be able to make water,” he said.
“But we have to take action really quickly,” Ciardo said, “because the other tank needs to be taken out of service.”
The tank that failed rose to a height of 24 feet. Ciardo recommended adding another eight feet to increase to 32 feet high, which adds another 50,000 gallons. A second tank holds 100,000 gallons.
The upgrade includes installing baffling sheets to the interior of both tanks to keep water moving throughout the tank, the way people snake through an attraction line at a theme park. Baffling will help the plant solve a problem it has had all year with the off-gassing, affecting the disinfectant levels. A third pump will also have to be added, which was approved.
All else, the location, concrete base, etc., may remain the same, except for the addition of a few valves to plumb in the pump and an additional bucket.
An extra pump will make it easier for the plant to vary the rate of flows, depending on water usage, which is down now.
A final element to be added is Cathodic Protection (CP), a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making it the cathode of an electrochemical cell. A simple method of protection connects protected metal to a more easily corroded “sacrificial metal” to act as the anode. The sacrificial metal then corrodes instead of the protected metal.
Directors had to choose either a galvanized bolted tank (like the one that failed) or a welded tank. They went with the welded tank and also opted for CP, which will extend the life of the tank to 100 years, they heard.
A welded tank could be on site in six weeks, Ciardo said.
Posted by : January 1, 2015| On :
Mabank Brookshire’s Grocery Store Assistant Store Manager Joshua Bennett (left), along the store employees Joe Cahill, Angela Bohannon and Mabank Area Good Samaritans (MAGS) Food Pantry volunteer Larry Gainus load food for donation to MAGS. “Brookshire’s has been a strong supporter of the food pantry, and its customers have done a wonderful job donating food through Brookshire’s ‘Share Meals, Share Life’ mission,” MAGS former president Bill Burnett said. To donate to MAGS, call president Chris Bynum at (903) 386-7282.
Posted by : December 28, 2014| On :
Preacher speaks out against
By David Webb
TOOL–The Tool City Council affirmed the rights of residents to pursue a local option election petition for the legal sale of all alcoholic beverages at the monthly meeting Dec. 18.
City Secretary Makenzie Blaser told the council she placed the item on the agenda for direction from the council because of inquiries she received about how to legalize the sale of liquor in Tool. The city already allows the sale of beer and wine.
Mayor Pro Tem Donny Daniel said the agenda item was unnecessary because of citizens’ constitutional rights to circulate petitions to call for elections. “It is a due process that can be followed without council approval,” he said.
Councilman Nathan Reeder agreed with Daniel, but he made a motion to allow residents to pursue the petition process to recognize the “will of the citizens” would determine the outcome. Daniel said he considered the action unnecessary, but seconded the motion.
The council approved the motion by a four to one vote with Councilwoman Kathryn Pinnell voting against it.
“I think we could set a precedent as a City Council and say, ‘No,’” she said. “It’s my city too, and I don’t want liquor in it.”
Mayor Tamra Brickey told Pinnell she could register her disapproval by voting no if a petition is successful in calling for an election on liquor sales.
Brickey told Blaser she had an obligation to assist residents in preparing the petition. “It’s your job,” she said.
The council also expressed concerns about any delays in the petition process. The next election cycle is in May and if an election was called by a petition out of cycle it would cost the city about $5,000 to stage the vote, they noted.
Prior to the council discussion and vote, Pastor Steven Palmer of Providence Baptist Church urged the council to take a stand against the sale of liquor in Tool.
“I’m against this proposition, and I think the council should be against it too,” Palmer said.
Palmer said he understood it might increase sales tax revenue in the city that is now being spent in Seven Points and other lakeside cities, but he considered the potential harm to outweigh any financial benefit. Drinking causes many problems for people, including marital discord, financial insolvency, broken homes for children and drunk driving, he said.
“People will drink but we don’t have to be a part of the process in helping them to do so,” Palmer said. “I think we should send a strong message to the liquor crowd.”
Businessman Leng Hort told the council he attended the meeting just to learn more about the issue, but he favored the idea of bringing more revenue to Tool. His family’s business already sells beer and wine. “I’m okay with yes or no,” he said. “I just want to know.”
After the meeting, Palmer said he understood “due process” must be followed, and he accepted the council’s decision.
In other action, the council:
• approved a variance for a resident on Sovereign Drive to build a carport for a boat and trailer.
• renewed the curfew for minors. The curfew hours are 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday until 6 a.m. the following day, Midnight until 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday and 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday during school hours.
• established locations in Arnold Hills and Paradise Bay subdivisions for paving projects.
• renewed the agreement with the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake.
• set a Dec. 29 meeting for a workshop with the city’s maintenance supervisor.
• agreed to consider the possibility of appointing a new city attorney that is more experienced with cities the size of Tool. Blake Armstrong of Birdsong and Armstrong in Dallas sent a letter to Tool offering his services.