City on the hook for estimated $80k in Hwy. 173 repairs

The Devine City Council granted Interim City Administrator Dora Rodriguez and City Engineer Raul Garcia the authority to proceed with repairs to Hwy. 173 during the Special meeting held last Tuesday, May 26.

TxDot requested the City repair a section of the road from Bright Dr. to Commercial Dr. following a water leak on May 20. Public Works Director Ismael Carrillo said a contractor estimated the project at roughly $80,000.

Projects over $50,000 require going out for bids, though City Attorney Tom Cate said that might not apply in this case, in part because the City doesn’t have the type of warning signage required.

“We don’t have the signage, and we know that TxDot wants us to fix it, so it could constitute an emergency,” Cate said. “We can’t just let it draw out.

“So if we can get the signage, that would kind of alleviate some of our liability. If we can’t get signage, then I would say that it’s an emergency and would fall outside the bid statute.”

Money for the repair will come from the water and sewer fund.

“When you come up on that, it’s rough there, where the hole is,” Mayor Cory Thompson said. “We’re another good rain away from it just washing out and us having problems, and then we’re liable for those problems because it was our water leak.”

A motion by District 4 Councilman Chuck Guzman and District 1 Councilman Flipper Vega authorizing Rodriguez and Garcia to proceed with the repairs passed 5-0 with votes from District 2 Councilman Steve Lopez, District 3 Councilman David Espinosa, and District 5 Councilwoman Debra Randall.

By Marly Davis

Staff Writer

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