Posted: Jan 16, 2013 4:11 PM by Caroline Flores - email@example.com
Updated: Jan 16, 2013 4:39 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - There's a new price tag associated with the second phase of the Mary Rhodes Pipeline project.
The first phase of the Mary Rhodes Pipeline extension project cost $127 million. But when they got an update on the second phase in September, City Council members were not happy when they were told the much shorter second phase was to cost $172 million.
"That's bad math. That's not good. That's what people are looking at and that's what we're looking at. It just doesn't make sense to us," said Council Member Mark Scott in September.
City staff was told to go back and cut some costs. So, four months later the city has a new estimate of $153 million. The director of the City Water Department says says that's about as low this price tag can go.
"Because of the Eagle Ford Shale play, prices for real estate have gone up significantly," said Water Department Director Gustavo Gonzalez.
What has happened is companies working the Eagle Ford Shale have built pipelines in the same area to transport oil. And price wasn't an issue for those companies when buying land rights.
"And they are able to pay much more higher prices. We didn't anticipate that when we started this project 5... 4,5,6 years ago," said Gonzalez.
So now the city is having to match those high prices for land use. Meaning tax payers will have to put forward the $153 million if they want phase two of the pipeline built.
The council will decide whether or not they want to move forward with the project in the next few weeks. If council approves the second phase construction could begin this Summer.
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