Archived Story

City Council outlines G&R sewer requirements

Published 11:12am Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Austin City Council formalized the requirements for G&R Truck Wash to renew its sewer services and reopen business at its public meeting Monday night.

G&R owner Garth Carlson must repay the city $230,000 in strong sewage discharge fees and bills, as well as update its discharge agreement with the city, create a plan to pay remaining bills and fees, remove the large sawdust bedding from the site and bring the property up to its original site agreement with the city.

The council met with Carlson at its last work session to discuss potentially opening the business. G&R has run afoul of city sewage requirements for several years, mainly through putting excess amounts of strong waste into the city sewer system.

In February 2012 the council gave Carlson 90 days to pay all outstanding sewage and strong waste charges, and ordered G&R work with the city on an individual control mechanism agreement, as well as lower its waste discharges into the sewer system.

Rather than miss a May 7 deadline to meet those requirements, Carlson voluntarily closed the business. G&R has remained closed since May 1, 2012.

Carlson has since installed a new waste disposal system, and he told the council he would pay back existing fines and bills once he determined whether he was eligible for a discount based on agreements other communities have with competing businesses over water usage.

In other news, the council:

—resolved to support upcoming legislation which would allow cities to create street improvement districts. The bill, which the council discussed with legislators last month, would allow cities to collect assessment fees from property owners within a district to fund street projects. Public Works Director Steven Lang called the bill, “Just another tool in the toolbox for cities.”

The council recently dropped discussions on switching from assessments to a tax levy system to pay for infrastructure projects. While the tax levy would split the burden of street projects between all residents, the city would need to permanently raise existing tax levies by almost 40 percent in order to pay for next year’s projects. Several residents objected to the switch earlier this year, and the council decided to drop the issue last month.

—approved various street closings for upcoming events this summer.

—granted the Planning and Zoning Department the right to remove junk and/or illegally stored vehicles from properties at 801 15th St. NE and 1303 Oakland Ave. E.

—reminded residents the first Conversations with the Council meeting will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday at Gymocha. The informal meetings are designed to let residents approach council members with problems, which the council will research before coming up with a response. The council held four meetings in 2012 before suspending them last July over several issues. Council members have since decided to continue the meetings, albeit with a bit more structure.

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