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New wastewater plant comes in $33 million under projection

March 30, 2017 GMT

HARLINGEN — City officials today dedicated new Wastewater Treatment Facility No. 2 which cost $33 million less than originally projected in 2008.

Engineering consultants for the plant, located on 54th Street, came in with an estimate of $57 million in 2008 when told the city would need a new treatment facility.

Today officials announced the new plant has come in at a cost of $14.5 million, a savings they attributed to a commitment to do much of the work and engineering in-house within the Harlingen WaterWorks System which oversees wastewater treatment.

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“We’re operating, we’re operating successfully, and when we add up all of the costs we spent over the past nine years, from the projected $57 million, our total project cost to date is $14 million … a total savings of over $33 million to the City of Harlingen,” said Josh Fields, chair of the WaterWorks board of directors.

City officials likewise praised the WaterWorks’ department commitment to performing much of the work needed in-house instead of outsourcing it.

“What a remarkable feat of engineering has occurred here,” said Mayor Chris Boswell. “A smart, fiscally responsible, pay-as-you-go way to save this community nearly $40 million and to have a brand new wastewater treatment facility at a fraction of the cost of what the experts told the city and the WaterWorks board what it would cost 10 years ago.

“On behalf of the City Commission .. on behalf of this community and this city, I cannot thank the staff of WaterWorks enough for this tremendous achievement that I think will go down in the history of our community as one of the greatest achievements that should be recognized,” he added.

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