EARLY— After months of delays the Early City Council finalized annexing and rezoning property connected with its $6.8 million water treatment facility.

During Tuesday’s meeting Early Assistant City Administrator Larry McConn announced the city received notification from the Zephyr Water Supply Corporation Board of Directors to move forward with annexing and rezoning two acres of city-owned property at Salt Creek Drive, which is the location of the city pump station pushing wastewater from city pipelines into the new three-tier non-discharge system.

“This is the item that has been tabled the last few meetings,” McConn said. “… They discussed and saw no problem with the city annexation of the property they co-own with us.”

The annexed property includes the property currently occupied by the lift station as well as the private road leading to the lift station. The facility went online in April of 2018 and is unique because it is a non-discharge station. Instead of releasing the treated wastewater to recirculate in a body of water, the Early facility treats the water in a three tier-system lagoon.

Once the plant receives wastewater, a lift station pumps wastewater into a lagoon system, where a grinder shreds and distributes solid material and pushes the wastewater to the first lagoon. From there, naturally occurring bacteria further breaks down solid waste then spills into another lagoon to undergo the same process before spilling into the final lagoon, where it is later distributed into city-own hayfields. The hay is then sold to area farmers to offset the cost of operating the facility.

Along with approving the annexation and rezoning, the city also accepted a bid from Lone Star Municipal Equipment for $136,550 for camera equipment to monitor the sewer lines. The council also approved purchasing a $17,000 bid from Early Trailer Sales to purchase cargo trailer for housing the equipment.

“That decision was based on [Lone Star] meeting and exceeding our specs in both the equipment and training and, based on our belief, the overall cost of operating our equipment,” Tony Aaron, city administrator, said. “The second quote is for a cargo trailer that will be used to house the equipment. Basically a mobile office that will house the equipment as well as a computer that will be used for doing inspections.”

The funds needed to approve the bids will come from the remaining $1.4 million leftover from the project. While discussing the project Aaron said Early received its new $270,181 city sewer truck from Freight Liner of Austin, which it approved during its final meeting of 2018.

Councilmen will also:

Approved municipal development fund grants for K La Shae Designs, Texas App Saver LLC. Approved appointing Ryan Calloway and Greg Ellers to the Early Planning and Zoning Board. Recognized outgoing planning and zoning board Maria Olivares and Pail Smithson for their years of service. Received an audit of its 2017-2018 budget from Tony Krischke of Krischke and Company CPA of Brownwood. Announced a February 17 completion date of construction for the new Early Visitor and Event Center.