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The Smith County Commissioners Court is shown meeting in February. Pictured from left: Commissioner Jeff Warr, Commissioner Terry Phillips, Judge Nathaniel Moran, Commissioner Cary Nix and Commissioner JoAnn Hampton. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph/File)

Smith County is planning to do more work on stormwater and sewer drainage, including working with the city of Tyler on some issues.

The Smith County Commissioners Court approved a contract with the city, 3-0, at a regular meeting this week. Commissioner JoAnn Hampton and County Judge Nathaniel Moran were absent. The Commissioners Court also approved a contract with Halff Associates related to drainage.

Frank Davis, the county engineer, said the contract with Halff Associates would be for work to update a permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which is similar to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Davis said the county has to renew its permit every five years. He said the cost for this work would be $17,000. He said the price was significant the last time it was updated, and this year there are some additional forms that are required.

Halff Associates will perform work related to data collection, review, drafting an update to the stormwater management program, finalizing the program, and performing public outreach, according to a draft version of the contract, which had not been signed as of Wednesday.

Halff Associates is the same firm that has a contract with the city of Tyler to do drainage work. The City Council voted in June to increase the amount of that contract by about $320,000.

Ann Wilson, the county auditor, said the contract with the city is similar to one the county approved in 2013. “It’s something that we do every four or five years to update the stormwater management program,” Wilson told the Commissioners Court.

Under the draft contract with Tyler, the county will develop and maintain a map for the stormwater drain system in the urbanized area that’s in unincorporated areas outside Tyler city limits. The city will do the same inside city limits, and they will make the maps available to one another.

Additionally, the city will incorporate the county into its public service announcements about stormwater drainage, and the city will work with the county to create one stormwater webpage for the Smith County website, according to a draft contract.

Regarding septic systems, the county will develop a brochure that addresses “proper septic system care, for septic system pumping companies to distribute to septic system owners,” the contract says. The county will put the city’s logo on all septic system brochures and make them available to septic system owners within Tyler city limits, according to the contract.

In the contract, Smith County says it plans to continue to perform maintenance on certain drains that are adjacent to a base facility that discharge into an unnamed adjacent creek, and will have the drains cleaned on an as-needed basis.

“Depending on the extent of the maintenance required, Smith County may request assistance from the city of Tyler,” the contract says. “Smith County may coordinate with the city of Tyler’s Streets Department to assist them in cleaning/maintaining drains with the city’s vacuum truck. Smith County shall reimburse Tyler for each use of the vacuum truck at a price to be negotiated at the time of each request.”

The contract will be signed by Moran and Tyler City Manager Ed Broussard. The City Council will consider whether to approve Broussard’s signature on the contract on July 10.

TWITTER and INSTAGRAM: @_erinmansfield

Government Reporter

Erin came to Tyler from Vermont, where she worked for VTDigger.org and previously the Rutland Herald. She received her B.A. in Economics and Spanish from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she also attended journalism school.

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