City leaders are unhappy about the $172 million cost of the Mary Rhodes Pipeline project, which would pipe in more water from Lake Texana.
One of those who was not amused by the $172 million figure was Mayor Joe Adame.
"Today, looking at $172 million just blows my mind," Adame said. "I'm not saying the cost isn't there, but we were really misled back in '09 by engineering, or whoever, or Council wouldn't have made that decision to say we want a shovel-ready project in two years."
"First of all, I don't think they were misled," Assistant City Manager Oscar Martinez said. "I think what we need to do is go back and clearly identify what was discussed. I remember the first time we spoke about Mary Rhodes Pipeline phase two projected costs. It was at a Council retreat in which it was a preliminary cost at best, almost four years ago."
Adame said that Council was told that the pipeline would cast $75 million to build back in 2009 at that Council retreat. That is about one-third of the new estimate's total.
While Council was simply being given an update on this project, it was the most contentious item on the agenda. Council directed City staff to be prepared to have the entire plan ready for a vote by next May.
Council wants it ready just in case we do not get rain over the next eight months. At the Council meeting, the City Water Director told them that the National Weather Service is predicting a wet spring because of El Niño; but if it doesn't happen, the pipeline work would have to begin because the water in our reservoir system will only last two and a half years if the drought continues.
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