The city of Shenandoah has made progress on its project to run water and sewer utilities to the Tamina community, according to discussion at an Oct. 25 meeting. The project, funded with $21 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, is expected to be completed by October 2026.

The gist

Council member Ron Raymaker said at the meeting that construction on Shenandoah’s portion of the project will run through January, and it has hit some milestones, including near or total completion on preliminary engineering and topographic, environmental and historical assessments.

What they're saying

Several members of the community spoke at the meeting, stating they believe efforts to extend water and sewer could come at a cost to the Tamina community.

James Leveston, formerly president of the Old Tamina Water Supply Corp., noted the corporation sold its certificate of convenience and necessity to allow the sewer project to move forward. He said the sale of the certificate concerned him because he felt nonresidential development planned for the area and other factors such as higher costs could erode the community’s identity.

Tyrone Price, who has spoken at previous meetings on the topic, also cited concerns about nonresidential development based on discussions a Sept. 27 meeting.

“[Water and sewer] should not come at the expense of replacing the existing residences, future residences in the key areas to build affordable homes for future residents moving into the area,” he said, citing a developer's agreement approved following an executive session at a Sept. 27 City Council meeting.

Price said he was concerned because the agreement did not include historical single-family residential zoning, but it included the potential for office and commercial and zoning.

What's next

City officials have previously stated they will stay in communication with Tamina residents through the process, and Mayor John Escoto said at the close of the meeting that he will address those residents’ concerns.

“I am concerned about the assertions, and I want to make sure we address this offline with the residents of Tamina because I’m really concerned about that opinion,” Escoto said. “I want to have the opportunity to defend the city on this. It’s very concerning that that feeling is out there because it’s not real.”