The proposed major wastewater treatment plan for Seguin must be carefully reviewed by independent experts before it is approved by the city council. Why? Seguin’s leadership, and its poorly selected low-bid contractors, have an extraordinarily poor record in the installation and maintenance of major sewer projects.

The record includes the selection of incompetent contractors, including a paving contractor that had never installed a sewer collection system. I and others warned the city about the contractor’s poor record, but the city council, led by the current mayor when he was on council, approved its selection. Moreover, the work of these contractors was not regularly inspected by Seguin officials, none of whom were present when a contractor excavated a huge cavity under active railroad tracks, about which Seguin failed to notify Union Pacific. (The contractor’s foreman and I notified Union Pacific.) Nor were inspectors present when a contractor bored through the side of the Geronimo Creek instead of under the creek. Earlier, the contractor’s foreman informed me this would happen. (I notified the city, which replied all was well.)

Forrest M. Mims III was named “One of the 50 best brains in science” by Discover magazine.

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(1) comment

Shepard

Mr Mims makes many valid points and with clear examples. I guess the takeaway is one of ‘oversight’, or lack of, in the Public projects approved. I believe any of us have seen instances where the lack of roper project monitoring has resulted in waste or corruption, but we depend on our elected officials to do what we pay them to do.

Keying on what Mr Mims implies, the City needs to assure us they are in fact ‘doing right by the citizens’ by engaging outside non involved parties to verify the plans are correct and have no unintended consequences. In addition, we must all pay attention beyond reading the news, as by then, its too late.

As what happened with the dams on the Guadalupe, trust in government or quasi government entities should only be given with some measure of suspicion, as the past lessons indicates its not warranted very frequently.

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