Brawley to freeze several city jobs after million-dollar fine

Brawley

Brawley to freeze several city jobs after million-dollar fine

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BRAWLEY, Calif. (13 On Your Side) – The City of Brawley was recently fined $1,000,000 for not having proper wastewater treatment.

They've since corrected the problem, but now the City is stuck paying a fine.

Brawley City officials say the money will come from the city's reserve fund.

Meanwhile, they plan to make up the deficit through a hiring freeze for positions including two police officers, a city street sweeper and a parks and recreation supervisor.

The City could not tell us how much money it could save by freezing the hiring of these positions to make up for the $1,000,000 fine.

According to city officials, the Colorado Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board filed a complaint against the City of Brawley in February.

In the complaint, the regional board found that the Brawley Water Treatment Plant had violated several requirements for 10 years, including lack of a pre-treatment water program.

A pre-treatment water program regulates the amount of contaminants that can be dumped into the sewage system, preventing excessive pollutants from going into streams.

According to the complaint, Brawley Beef Company was a main source for the violations, dumping high amounts of ammonia into the sewage system among other contaminants.

According to City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore, because of the numerous violations found by the regional board, the City has been fined $1,000,000.

"The intent of the city is to utilize our reserve funds on hand for emergencies," she said. "I think that it means that we probably won't see a ton of growth for the point of view of staffing levels or service lines."

In a three-page recommended budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, Bayon Moore outlined proposed job freezes to help balance the City's budget.

Positions that could be affected include a fire marshal position, two police officer positions, a parks and recreation supervisor and a street sweeper.

Meanwhile, Bayon Moore says the City has new procedures in place to ensure the wasterwater violations do not happen again.

"We now have very clear procedures for what occurs when there are violations or aberrations from the norm. So our ordinance staff will have in place an ordinance that very particularly lays out the steps that must be taken to ensure compliance," she said.

The City did not exactly say how much else they plan to help make up for the million-dollar fine.

Residents can voice their questions or concerns by contacting City Hall.

 

 

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