Overton dealing with fines and high price repairs over Dam


POSTED: Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 5:38pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 6:08pm

The city of Overton is dealing with a huge issue over their north dam. What started as a small problem 12 years ago, now has the city scrambling for funds to cover the cost to fix it.

City officials said the dam had minor problems that could have been fixed fast and cheap. But, that was in 2002. Because of neglect and sweeping problems under the rug, the current city manager and mayor have a lot to clean up.

"Before, when the dam could have been fixed with city employees, we were like a boat with a small leak but because all of this was ignored, now I feel like were in the titanic," said Overton city manager Joe Cantu.

Now, the city owes a lot of money because the past administration didn't get it fixed when it needed too.

"Neglect started back in 2002. I say neglect because people were looking at reports that came in and casting them aside not doing what they should of done," said Overton mayor C.R. Evans.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality then contacted the past city manager two more times in 2008 and 2009 to fix the dam. But, it was still ignored.

"Now beavers moved in, now they are burrowing underneath and now we've got erosion up there and we have some trees growing," said Cantu.

It's now deteriorated to the point where an engineer has to come in and tell city officials how to fix it.

"Right now, we definitely have a major problem that really I don't know where we are going to get the money to fix the dam and it does need to be fixed, 'said Cantu.

The current administration is now fined for ignoring the past requests.

"Because they weren't fixed originally when the city was advised, the city is now paying over $96,000 in fines," said Cantu.

Overton city officials said they don't know how much the engineer is going to cost, as well as how much it's going to cost to repair the dam. Mayor Evans said they may need some volunteers from the community to help fix the problem. He said they will not have enough money in their budget to fix this one problem and also to run a city.

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