New Sewage System and Donation Money Addressed in West Town Hall Meeting

Posted at 11:10 PM, Sep 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-04 10:19:19-04

Families who lost their homes in the West Fertilizer Co. explosion are starting to rebuild, and now the town is about to take another giant step towards recovery.

Mayor Tommy Muska held a town hall meeting on Tuesday night for an update on the recovery process and donations. 

A new $5.2 million dollar water and sewage system will be installed on the North side of town. The cost for the project will be funded by FEMA and from the state's rainy day fund, after lawmakers in Austin set aside $10 million dollars to help West. The water and sewage system will take 14 months to complete.

Muska confirmed to News Channel 25 on Tuesday the town is still expected to get money from the rainy day fund.

The new utility system will be completed by the time new homes are built on the North side, also known as zone three which was the largest section with the most severe damage.

Mayor Muska says the project will be voted on in November. 

Residents were able to hear from board of the West, Texas Foundation or known as Long-Term Recovery Committee. Those members are Charles R. MatthewsRonnie SykoraJohn CrowderTiffany Bolton and Darrin Banik.

Sykora told residents the $3.8 million dollars in donation money still has to sit there and the LTRC has to go through steps due to IRS rules on charitable donations. 

The board says there is still around $30 million dollars in unmet needs of residents, mostly everyday necessities.

Many of the concerned residents at the meeting were complaining about the process taking too long and case workers are not communicating properly with them.

After the meeting, board members refused to take questions from News Channel 25, or any media, and referred all questions to the chair member, Matthews, who wasn't at the meeting.