The Woodlands edition | May 2022


Tamina sewer struggles

project covers. Rita Wiltz, a Tamina resident and founder of Tamina nonprofit Books on Wheels, said she is hopeful the project will mean she and her fam- ily will see water services in their lifetime. “My mother, Della Henry, worked for years ... to make sure the families in Tamina … had water and sewer,” Wiltz said. “She passed in 2017, and we still did not have that.” Wiltz said her family has never given up on trying to bring services to Tamina. “As long as I can remember, it has always been a concern,” she said. “You have families that have a slop bucket. … When you do not have indoor plumbing, that is what you use for the bathroom.” According to Jennifer Brady, public affairs specialist with the U.S. Depart- ment of Agriculture Rural Develop- ment, the OTWSC, which supplies water services to the Tamina commu- nity, was awarded around $2.2 million in loan and grant funding to construct a wastewater collection system and treatment plant in 2012. However, as of 2022 it has not yet been used because it is awaiting final project plans from Tamina to close the loan, she said. “The agency is awaiting final plans and specifications for the proposed project from the WSC’s consulting engineer to close the loan/grant and move towards construction,” Brady said in an email. James Leveston, president of the OTWSC, declined to comment on the status of the project plans as of April 28 due to ongoing talks with the various entities. Brady said there is a date the funds need to be used by but did not spec- ify the date. She said the USDA Rural Development agency is committed to ensuring the funding will go to

While there is no set date to begin for the water and sewer project, Peart and Bleyl said they hope to begin construc- tion by early 2023. Proposal documents submitted to City Council indicate it will take an estimated 60 weeks to complete, including surveying, design- ing, bidding and construction. Peart said there will be coordina- tion with Montgomery County Pre- cinct 4 as the project will be near the county’s right of way as it approaches Hardy Road just east of the Union Pacific Railroad. Peart said a complication with extending the sewer line on the north side of the road deals with the eleva- tion difference between the sewer and Johnson Road. “A lift station would be required to extend beyond this point, which would exceed the funding,” Peart said. During the March 23 meeting, City Council approved using the ARPA funding for the project and added a redundancy sewer line to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Excess costs beyond what the ARPA funds cover will be covered by Shenando- ah’s water and sewer fund, Peart said. Peart said Shenandoah’s capital improvement plan includes funds for other repair and replacement projects for the water and wastewater sys- tems, but the new projects qualify for ARPA funds. “These projects are new and meet the purpose of the [ARPA] funding,” Peart said. Tamina sewer service issues The community of Tamina, which was founded in 1871 by freed slaves after the Civil War, has been working to get public sewer services for over two decades. According to 2020 U.S. Census data, there are 423 residents within the census blocks in the Tam- ina era, with 97 estimated along the stretch of Tamina Road the proposed

1999 : Tamina awarded Community Development Block Grant funding for public sewer system

2005 :

Montgomery County

rescinds CDBG funding due to lack of agreements between entities

2006 : Tamina and Shenandoah fail to reach agreement regarding services

2012 :

Old Tamina Water Supply Corporation awarded separate loan and grant funding by USDA Rural Development

2016 : Tamina approaches

Southern Montgomery County Municipal Utility District for wastewater services

2018 :

Tamina and Southern Montgomery County MUD negotiate to finalize contract

2019 : Montgomery County Community Development confirms withdrawn CDBG funding

2019 : Old Tamina Water Supply Corp. USDA rural development grant funding remains in place despite loss of county funds

2022 : Shenandoah commits

2023 :

American Rescue Plan Act funding for water and sewer extensions down Tamina Road

Tamina Road water and sewer line extension construction anticipated to begin

how residents’ ability to connect to the lines once they are completed. “We will say ‘amen’ as it is hap- pening, but we will shout ‘hallelu- jah’ when it finally does happen,” she said.

the OTWSC before it expires. Precinct 4 Communications Offi- cer Jean Mann said the county also is waiting on information from Tamina to move forward with the process. Bleyl said for now, the city’s focus will be on bringing water services to the railroad right of way as the first step of the process. Wiltz added she is concerned about

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