Alamo gets $11.5M to build wastewater treatment plant

ALAMO — The city here received $11.5 million in funding assistance from the Texas Water Development Board Thursday to help construct a wastewater treatment plant that will take its current operations from “primitive” to modern, the city manager here said.

Alamo has been working on updating its wastewater treatment plant for about four years, said Alamo City Manager Luciano Ozuna. Currently, the wastewater is treated by a lagoon system that depends on the sun and wind, but the city is working on updating it to more of a mechanical operation.

Ozuna traveled to Austin with Alamo Mayor Diana Martinez and Commissioner Robert De La Garza to receive the award from TWDB.

“We’ve been working on this project for quite some time and we finally got that approved,” Ozuna said. “Hopefully we can see this completed as soon as we can.”

Of the state’s $11.5 million allocation, about $10.3 million will come in the form of a loan, while about $1.1 million will forgiven as part of a loan forgiveness program from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

By going through the state’s revolving fund instead of ssuing bonds, the city could save approximately $2.7 million, according to a news release from TWDB.

The city will use the funds to build a 2.5-million-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant. Currently its plant treats up to 1.3 million gallons per day, but city leaders wanted to build one that could sustain future growth, Ozuna said.

“For the citizens, it means that we will have a more automated system compared to what we have now,” he said. “The one that we have now was built in the ’50s and ’60s and that plant is obsolete.”

City leaders are still waiting for the environmental study to be approved by the state and hope to bid out the project sometime this summer. The plant, however, won’t be operational until two or three years from now, Ozuna said.