‘Every man for himself’ in backup generators bid, City Hall says
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By Breyana Segura
As winter is fast approaching and fears of another snow storm loom, Pearsall city councilors have paired with the Texas Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (TXWARN) in an effort to better prepare in the event of another winter storm.
The network serves as a tool to cities across the state providing equipment to assist in water and wastewater outages during natural disasters.
“Texas passed a bill mandating that cities have backup generators,” Public Works Director Hector Gandara said during a meeting on Tuesday, October 18, adding that he has been working for six months towards ensuring the city complies with state requirements.
“I have tried to get an agreement with a secondary source but no one is willing to help except for these people,” Gandara said of TXWARN. “They are a first-come, first-served company. They will bring the generator, but it’s cut-throat; they do this for the entire state, but we have to get to them first.”
City Manager Federico Reyes told councilors the company would bring in portable generators that would help support the city’s emergency preparedness for public utilities.
“But it is an ‘every man for himself’ situation,” the city manager said.
According to city management, there is a generator at the wastewater plant. The proposed agreement would provide a generator at the water plant and bring the city into compliance with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) standards.
The Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 3 in June 2021 relating to preparing for, preventing and responding to weather emergencies and power outages.
According to Gandara, despite efforts to find an agreement, the city has been out of compliance.
The public works director believes it has been hard to find a company because of the city’s proximity to the oilfield.