The Brenham City Council signed off today (Tuesday) on a pair of engineering service agreements to pursue upgrades to the city’s water treatment plant and adding groundwater wells to supplement the water received from Lake Somerville.
Councilmembers had little discussion before approving the agreements with Strand Associates, Inc., who went over the matter at length with the council during its meeting on July 13th.
City of Brenham General Manager of Public Utilities Debbie Gaffey said the agreement to expand the water plant intends to improve its treated water capacity per day by over 1.3 million gallons.
The cost for the water plant engineering services is not to exceed $2.52 million. The entire project is expected to take just under four years, with an anticipated completion time of mid-summer 2027.
Speaking on the groundwater supply project, Gaffey said the city plans to revitalize an existing well at Loesch Street and build a second well during this first phase. Once test results are received, the city can move forward with the second phase that involves more dedicated water infrastructure.
The groundwater engineering services will cost $160,000. The first phase is projected to wrap up in 18 months.
Gaffey said the city plans to issue certificates of obligation in early 2024 and use proceeds to fund the cost of both contracts.
In other business, the council:
- Held a work session to receive an update on the airport master plan for the Brenham Municipal Airport.
- Adopted a commercial tax phase-in agreement with MIC Group, LLC, a precision manufacturing and electromechanical assembly manufacturing company that is looking to expand operations and add new equipment. The company plans to add 45 employees to its workforce and estimates a total capital investment of $6 million.
- Tabled action on an ordinance to create a reinvestment zone for commercial tax phase-in at 209 South Market Street. The location is being modernized to become The Southern Folly, an entertainment and meeting venue and bar in downtown Brenham. The item was tabled in order to allow Mayor Atwood Kenjura and Mayor Pro-Tem Clint Kolby, who were absent from the council meeting, an opportunity to give feedback.
- Passed resolutions to authorize acceptance of public improvements in the Liberty Village subdivision, phase 3 and the Brenham Market Square subdivision, phase 1.
- Agreed to reject all bids received regarding lime for the city's wastewater treatment plant. The lowest annual bid of $307 per ton delivered is much higher than the city’s last cost of $130 per ton. The city wishes to re-bid with different term options of six months, nine months and 12 months.
- Held an executive session to consult with an attorney regarding Aviators Plus, LLC v. City of Brenham; Cause No. 37896; 21st Judicial District Court, Washington County.