BRAZORIA — The city’s water storage projects remain in flux after City Council again delayed deciding whether to replace a 425,000-gallon tank.

City Manager Olan Massingill discovered the city doesn’t need the 425,000 gallons of water storage at all since it has 625,000 gallons in the water tower and another 825,000-gallon ground tank.

Now, council and the administration are putting the $650,000 construction of that tank “on hold” to instead focus on the recoating and improvement of the 825,000-gallon tank and elevated tank, Massingill said.

Those two tanks need to be improved and “redone,” he said, which was not an option for the 425,000 tank. That tank’s condition requires a complete replacement, Massingill said.

Councilwoman Susan Parker asked whether they could follow up with Strand Engineering — the company that has been paid $66,000 in engineering fees for the project — as to why it did not let the city know the tank isn’t needed.

All Strand knew was to get a cost estimate to replace that tank, Massingill said.

Now, council is left with options including replacing that tank with a smaller one, which would cost about $105,000 for the 150,000-gallon tank itself, or not replacing the tank at all. Members unanimously decided to table the decision until their November meeting. Councilwomen Gail Logsdon and Roschelle Hicks were absent at the Tuesday meeting.

Recoating the water tower will cost about $600,000 and recoating the 825,000-gallon tank will cost about $400,000, totaling more than $1 million for both projects, Massingill said. The work is being funded by the $5.2 million in certificates of obligation, a form of debt that doesn’t require voter approval.

Many projects can end up being more expensive than anticipated, Massingill said.

Also Tuesday, council had a workshop to discuss the city’s ordinances regarding trespassing, loitering and coin-operated machines.

Massingill has reviewed ordinances that have not been read over in years and this will be a continuing process, he said.

The coin-operated machine ordinance states the devices have to be 300 feet from schools, hospitals and churches but doesn’t define how, Massingill said. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission either defines this by doorway to doorway or property line to property line, he said.

Council agreed they should make coin-operated machines be 300 feet away from schools, churches and hospitals by property line.

The city gets many complaints about homeless people staying near buildings in Brazoria, Massingill said, and they do not have an ordinance to address loitering or trespassing.

People who feed, donate and give shelter or sleeping arrangements to the homeless keep them in the city, Police Chief Neal Longbotham said. They are good deeds, but they encourage people to stay, he said.

It is legal to be homeless, City Attorney Charlie Stevenson said, so the city has to be very careful with how it words an ordinance.

Massingill used Clute’s ordinance as an example, but will tweak it and send it to the attorney before bringing it back for council’s approval, he said.

Maddy McCarty is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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