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