August 10, 2011

Citizen questions water sold for wind farm

By Mindi Kimbro, The Olney Enterprise, 10 August 2011

A local citizen attended the Monday, Aug. 8, meeting of the Olney City Council to question the city’s sale of water to the company responsible for the wind farm project.
Diane Andrews Remington spoke briefly during the public comment session regarding a letter that members of the City Council should have received.
“Did the City Council of Olney, Texas, receive my attorney Robert Russell’s letter dated Aug. 4, 2011, about my concerns of reconnecting my water meter, serial number 6915789, and about the millions of gallons of treated water you are giving the British Petroleum wind farm project northeast of Olney from Olney’s water supply?” Remington asked.

She then asked members if she and her lawyer were scheduled to speak before the Olney City Council regarding those concerns at the next public meeting planned for 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22. She received confirmation of her spot on the next agenda, and no questions were asked by any council member.
Next, council members unanimously approved entering into Phase II of the drought contingency plan, effective Thursday, Aug. 11. Those in attendance were Kathy Woodall, Samantha Purdy, Mayor Brenda Stennett, Jake Bailey, Debbie Sandlin and Marshall Leemann.
“At this moment we are above the trigger point for Phase II by about a foot,” City Administrator Danny Parker said. “We went into the summer with a lot of water.”
In previous years, Parker said the city was already in Phase II in May, but this year everything is in better shape.
“We held our own relatively well, but we’ve had some major leaks,” he noted. “Also there’s been a lot of speculation about thw ater being sold to Blattner.”

For the period of April 19-June 28, the administrator said Blattner Energy, the contractor responsible for the Trinity Hills Wind Farm project for BP Wind Energy, used just a little over 5 million gallons of the city’s water. That water was taken in part from Olney Lake, and in part from a metered fire hydrant located on the west end of town. During that same time, the city of Olney reportedly pumped 46 million gallons, and Parker said a very small percentage of the city’s overall water usage actually was attributed to Blattner Energy.
While there are not yet any figures on what Blattner Energy pulled from the hydrant for July, Parker said he had a pretty good idea of what they will be.
“The city pumped 34 million gallons for July alone, and I expect (Blattner) used anywhere from 1 to 4 million gallons.”
(For more of this story, subscribe today!)

URL to article: