E. Humble St. area of concern

Sue Fleming, The Freer Press

Freer City Council members reviewed a written request from attorney Robert S. Lee on behalf of Morsey Oil and Gas, asking to lay a pipeline along the right-of-way area on the west side of North Sun Avenue during the regular monthly meeting held at City Hall.

After discussion, a price set at $5 a foot to be paid by the oil and gas company for allowing the pipeline be laid along the approximate 430 feet area was suggested by councilman Orlando Navarro.

The council agreed and also added the stipulation that if there is non-use for one year, the right-of-way is to be reverted back to the city.

The low pressure line will be used for the transportation of water and oil, according to the company.

The council was addressed by local resident Billie Sumpter regarding the twice flooding of some homes, including hers, located on East Humble Street.

Flooding had occurred in 2002 and 2004.

A storm drainage channel profile survey that was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture dated March 8, 2002 was presented by Sumpter to the council.

"We are the only people in town that have had problems," Sumpter said. "It's been awhile, but if the rains continue as they have, I'm afraid we'll have the same problems as in the past."

The report said erosion had taken place along with sedimentation, blocking flow to the east of the city.

Severe erosion of the south slope was a major source of sediment into the channel as well.

Recommendations to prevent problems were also listed in the report which included removing the built up sediment to either divert runoff from entering the channel or installing an erosion control structure at the location to address the erosion at the site of the south slope.

Also suggested in the report was constructing a berm to the appropriate height which would block the channel from discharging to the west at Hwy. 16. The report noted the area should also be cleared of vegetation.

Photographs showing overgrowth and large amounts of sediment settled at the end of Texas Avenue and Hwy. 16 were also viewed by the council.

"There was not a problem in our neighborhood until 2002," Sumpter said. "It's been better, but if we get a four-inch rain, it might flood again and something needs to be done."

After further discussion, Mayor Arnoldo Cantu said when weather conditions permitted, a backhoe could possibly be used to clear some of areas of the debris.

"We'll do what we can but we don't have a bulldozer - the county has that type of equipment," he said. "We'll do whatever we can to help with the problem."

After meeting in closed executive session, the members unanimously voted to offer $2,450 to former employee Alicia Perez, represented by Carrigan Law Firm of Corpus Christi, in response to her early termination on April 5.

Perez was replaced by Elizabeth Cremar, who officially took office on April 2. In other business, the council unanimously voted to hire Charlie Garcia as a back-up dispatcher for the Freer Police Department.

Attending the meeting were Carlos Salinas, Andrea Bierstedt, Manuel "Rolita" Estrada, Sylvia Carrillo, Navarro, Cantu and city secretary Cindy Lackey.