Posted: Jan 22, 2013 3:48 PM by Caroline Flores - email@example.com
Updated: Jan 22, 2013 6:46 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Today City Council passed a resolution to help battle the high prices of land for the proposed second phase of the Mary Rhodes Pipeline.
The first phase of the Mary Rhodes Pipeline extension project cost $127 million. But when City Council got an update on the second phase last year, they weren't happy to hear about the $172 million price tag. Officials revised the cost down by about 20 million last week.
Water Director Gus Gonzalez says the reason for the hiked price is because of Eagle Ford Shale. They have built pipelines in the same area to transport oil and paid very high prices for the land they built on.
The city says those land owners are now asking for the same price for a pipeline that carries not oil, but water. The city can't pay those high prices and says if landowners won't negotiate more reasonable prices they will be forced to get the land another way.
"If we're not able to do that than we do reserve the right to employ eminent domain," said Assistant City Manager Oscar Martinez.
That is the power the city has to take private property without the owners permission for the good of the public. The city would then pay a market price value, which they believe to be much lower than what Eagle Ford Shale paid.
"The city staff and city council is doing everything we can to aggressively bring this water supply to Corpus Christi, and we're gonna do that what ever it takes," said Martinez.
And the city council felt the same way because the resolution to allow eminent domain passed without any type of discussion.
"We will take all measures necessary because water supply to Corpus Christi is one of the most important things I can think of right now," said Martinez.
They plan to begin negotiations with land owners in the next few weeks.
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