Council spending $1.5M more to prevent water boils

City Council members go over their agenda for the Sept. 24 meeting at the John C. Fulghum Event Center. The council has been meeting in that facility since City Hall was closed to the public to undergo the removal of asbestos and mold in the building. The mold was caused by a plumbing leak that flooded the building with at least two inches of water in late July. Council members are, from left, Councilman Ford Patton, Mayor Pro Tem Benny Puente, Jr., Mayor Frank Dominguez, Jr. and Councilmen Eric Holland and Brian Watson.

BEEVILLE – City Council members voted Tuesday evening to give the city’s financial advisor, Victor Quiroga, authority to make arrangements to proceed with the sale of $1.5 million in certificates of obligation.

The money will be used to improve a supervisory control and data system (SCADA) within the city limits and to clean and paint ground storage and overhead storage water tanks within the city.

Joe B. Montez, city manager, explained that the city needs to make those improvements and others to put an end to the water boil notices that city residents have been hit with during periods of high temperatures.

The water storage tanks need silt removed from them, and they need to be repainted to prevent the evaporation of chloramine disinfectant that is necessary in the public water supply to kill bacteria.

Quiroga has been the city’s financial advisor for years. He recently left his former employer, Frost Bank in San Antonio, to become the managing director for the Dallas-based Specialize Public Finance Corp. He is opening an office for the company in San Antonio.

The advisor told the council that this is a good time to sell certificates of obligation to finance improvements because interest rates are at historic low levels.

Montez told the council that the city’s A+ bond rating will also help to assure the certificates are sold at a favorable interest rate.

In other business the council voted to:

— Approve a street closing request from the Bee County Chamber of Commerce for the annual Western Week Parade, to be held Saturday Oct. 5.

— Authorize Montez to purchase 11,500 linear feet of PVC pipe from Ferguson Enteprises LLC of Beeville for water line work to be performed in different parts of the city.

— Allow the city to execute an agreement with Tindol Construction Co. to bury the pipe in required areas at a cost of $21 per linear foot. That project is expected to cost the city $241,500.

— Authorize Montez to execute an engineering and architect agreement with LNV Engineering for design plans and specifications for the replacement of the roof at the City Hall building.

— Accept a report from Montez on the asbestos and mold situation at the City Hall Annex at 602 N. Washington St.

The city manager said the levels of those substances in that building were deemed to be acceptable.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at