County working toward $500K grant for that area, Orange Grove

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Orange Grove Journal

Residents of Jim Wells County Precinct 3 will see infrastructure changes in the near future, as the county goes through the grant process for a Clarifier and Sewer Line Grant.

The $500,000 grant will be applied to both the City of Orange Grove, to extend the sewer line to residents west of town, and for residents along Farm-to-Market Road 665, which is regularly flooded because of improper drainage.

County Commissioner Wally Alanis met with Grant Works officials to finalize plans for the grant, which could be initiated as soon as this fall.

On Friday, Julian Medrano spent the better portion of the afternoon working on his wire fence behind his home.

At 80 years old, Medrano has spent a good portion of his life working outdoors and is very proud of what he has been able to accomplish on his property off FM 665.

The houses along that route all use septic tanks for waste facilities. Along with the collection of water along the roadway, residents also put up with heavy traffic and drivers who often don't follow the laws of the road, Medrano said.

"I don't have a problem with my septic tank," Medrano said. "I don't think a sewer line would make much difference. It floods a little bit after heavy rains, but it takes time for the water to drain."

Medrano said he isn't aware of complaints about the lack of sewer lines from his neighbors, and if given the choice, he would probably stick with his septic tank.

At the same time. though, Medrano acknowledged that if a majority of his neighbors were behind the new sewer line, then he would join in with them.

Medrano has lived along FM 665 since 1957, and he raised his family there. He's seen the area remain mostly unchanged during that time.

"Those drivers out there are crazy, they don't care about their lives. They used to have wrecks down there at the light pretty often, and they just kept going," Medrano said. "If they're all behind it, then I'd get behind it, too. If it's got to be done, then it will be done."