Community

Posted on: January 27, 2017

City of La Marque is Discontinuing Service to the Leaking Motco Water Line

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La Marque, Texas (January 27, 2017) – The City of La Marque, Gulf Coast Water Authority and Motco Trust Group are discussing an arrangement that will allow city officials to cap a decades-old water line dubbed “The Motco Line”. The line earned its name because it currently serves one City water customer – the Motco Federal Superfund Site in the southeastern tip of La Marque. The Motco line was recently identified as one of several sources of non-revenue water loss.


According to Les Rumburg, Director of Public Services for the City of La Marque, a solution for the leaking line has been in the works since the summer of 2016.


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“We have identified that the Motco line is leaking but repairing it just isn’t feasible,” Rumburg said. “The line is nearly two miles long and over the course of its 60-year life, it has developed multiple leaks. Environmental conditions and lack of established easements are impeding our efforts. Capping the line is our best option. Once the line is capped, the leaks will stop. We have been working toward a solution as quickly as possible, but it is important to note that there is a federally regulated superfund site at the end of the line.”


While it may not be required, the City is working with Motco to identify an alternative water supply source before the line is capped. Soon, Motco will be notified in writing of the City’s intent to discontinue water service. Updates will be made available as this project progresses.


“Sometimes it isn’t as simple as turning off the water,” said City Manager Carol Buttler. “The quality of life, safety and wellbeing of our citizens drives everything we do in the City of La Marque. We must set priorities and make tough decisions at times, but our Public Services Department is working diligently on a solution for the Motco line while simultaneously addressing infrastructure needs across our City.”


The La Marque Economic Development Corporation (EDC) in conjunction with the La Marque City Council took the bold step in 2015 to undertake a comprehensive assessment of their community and the creation of a strategic plan to direct their future development and redevelopment efforts. An Infrastructure Improvement Plan was identified as the top priority for the City of La Marque. Since the Strategic Plan was published, the Public Services Department has commissioned a Leak Detection Survey, as well as a Water Modeling and Planning Study. Grant funds are being sought to augment a $3 million, comprehensive, city wide water and sewer infrastructure improvement plan which will be ready for City Council’s approval in the spring. At that time, all projects will be identified and engineered. The target for infrastructure improvement initiation is early summer 2017.


“The City’s aging water and sewer infrastructure is paramount, as it is in many cities,” said Rumburg. “We respond to emergency line breaks and sewer stops every single day of the week. We are looking forward to this summer’s projects as they will help the City of La Marque get away from the reactive process of responding to emergencies and let us turn to a proactive approach of planning. These proposed projects will take us a long way, but they won’t fix everything. We need to look ahead, preparing for La Marque’s growing population, as well as planning for new subdivisions and commercial infrastructures. As for the Motco line, we want it fixed just as bad as our citizens do.”


A timeline of City of La Marque’s water and sewer projects, as well as plans for the $3 million will run in the Spring 2017 edition of Inside La Marque, our quarterly community newsletter.

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About the City of La Marque: The City of La Marque is in Galveston County approximately 15 miles from the southern city limit of Houston and four miles north of Galveston Island. La Marque has an estimated population of 15,000 and an area of 14.25 square miles. Citizens enjoy coastal living with the security of a hurricane protection levee system. The city provides a wide range of programs including Bayou Fest, an annual community concert and BBQ Cook Off.  City of La Marque boasts easy access to world-class medical, travel and entertainment options. For business, La Marque offers developmental incentives, an abundance of commercial property and build-to-suit opportunities. La Marque is the Gateway to the Gulf. Discover the possibilities at www.cityoflamarque.org.

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