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Galveston: $85M wastewater plant dedicated 8 years after Ike

Posted 4:36 p.m. Thursday

— Officials have dedicated an $85 million wastewater treatment plant in Galveston as the largest Hurricane Ike recovery project since the storm hit in 2008.

The Galveston County Daily News (http://bit.ly/2d3GNdD ) reports dignitaries gathered Wednesday to celebrate completion of the plant, which began operations in March.

Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough says projects like the wastewater treatment plant take time. Construction was funded by federal disaster recovery funds administered by the Texas General Land Office.

"We have some glitzy projects in our recovery package," Yarbrough said. "This is not one of them. This isn't one they're going to drive by and say that's a wonderful addition to the island. But the one thing about this project is they're going to use it every day."

The new plant, built on the site of the old wastewater facility that was inundated during the storm, has holding tanks above flood level and upgraded power systems.

Stabilizing the city's wastewater infrastructure hasn't been without its bumps though. Officials said a power surge at the new plant in August released about 135,000 gallons of partially treated sludge into Galveston Bay. A city spokeswoman said the malfunctioning equipment has been replaced and the place is now in full working condition.

Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who was at the dedication ceremony, said he will push for storm surge protection projects and initiatives in the upcoming legislative session.

"When you think about the coast over the long term, it's not only important to finish out grants from the federal government, but to protect your assets," Bush said. "As we celebrate today, we've got to think about the future.

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