Council begrudgingly approves agreement to restore water to G&R

Published 10:33 am Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Austin City Council made it plain Monday that G&R Truck Wash has one last chance to solve its issues with the city.

The council approved an agreement to restore water and sewer services to G&R Truck Wash, on condition G&R owner Garth Carlson pay $45,000 upfront toward the $235,000 debt he owes the city in strong sewage discharge fees and bills, as well as pay the rest as a promissory note over the next 10 years with a balloon payment of $162,439 due in August of 2015.

Carlson has also secured a sewage monitoring plan with the city and will install a meter to accurately measure how much water gets sent back into the sewer in hopes of working out a lower monthly water flow charge. Carlson must abide by the terms of the agreement or the city may terminate water services to G&R without notice or a hearing for further infractions.

Email newsletter signup

Yet the council wasn’t thrilled with the agreement, as several council members and Mayor Tom Stiehm chided Carlson for continuously negotiating and evading the issues surrounding his business.

“It shows better faith if we get at least 50 percent [of the outstanding bills] back,” Councilman Steve King said. King was the only council member who voted against the agreement with G&R.

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.


In other news, the council:

—Heard a presentation from Vision 2020 organizers on potential budget requests over the next year.

Laura Helle, Vision 2020’s director of creative vision, told the council Vision 2020 was preliminarily seeking $45,000 in 2014 to pay for community arts project funding, a feasibility study to bring broadband Internet fiber to Austin, new signs for city-owned properties and attractions like the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, the Austin Public Library, and various parks, marketing, and bike lane and trail enhancements.

Vision 2020 organizer Geoff Baker said the Development Corporation of Austin would seek $10,000 from the council this year in operating costs related to Vision 2020 and the DCA’s work.

Helle noted several of these requests, such as marketing and bike trail/lane enhancements, will likely be an ongoing funding need and Vision 2020 organizers were also accepting donations from other institutions, such as Mower County officials, local businesses and a few private individuals, in order to fund several of the projects.

—Approved a stop sign at Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street Northwest, on the southeast side of Sumner Elementary School, to help children cross the street more safely.

—Awarded a bid to demolish the former Sinclair gas station off of North Main Street to RDS Trucking, Inc. for $4,995. Public Works Director Steven Lang told council members the building will be checked and abated for asbestos this week, with demolition set to take place by mid-July.

—Granted the city’s Planning and Zoning Department permission to remove junk and/or illegally stored vehicles from properties at 1801 First Avenue Northeast, 1817 Third Avenue Northeast, 1405 28th Avenue Northeast, 1701 Fifth Avenue Northwest, 206 Third Avenue Southeast, 611 11th Avenue Southwest, 1008 Oakland Avenue West, 1207 30th Avenue Northeast, 1211 30 Avenue Northeast, 1301 30th Avenue Northeast, and 100 12th Street Southeast.