Motion falls flat at council meeting

Commerce – A motion to allow city staff to seek bids on a new generator for the wastewater treatment plant in Commerce died for lack of a second at the regular Commerce City Council meeting last night. The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality requires a back-up system be in place to power the plant if electricity fails. Conflicting reports arose as to the functionality of the current generator, which was struck by lightning nearly a decade ago.

Reportedly, an engineer and an electrician had both looked at the current generator and said it could not be fixed. However, Councilman John Sands said former city employees had told him it had been cranked and only had minor problems. Sands also said staff had been directed to provide the council with information to decide if the generator needed replacing, and could not understand why the information was not provided.

After somewhat heated discussion, Mayor Sheryl Zelhart gave city staff direction that had been indicated in the discussion.

ZELHART:The direction I believe is this....and the direction, I believe, is, very simply, that we find out who manufactured that generator. We have a representative from that company come out with city staff present, and the engineer, and evaluate that piece of machinery. If it can be fixed, we need to know that. And we need to know that by the next council meeting.

The new generator was loosely estimated to cost around $80,000.