Since Friday, e-mails and phone calls have come in from angry viewers, upset about watering ban. Right now the city is moving a major water line to make way for the Marsha Sharp Freeway. As a result, citizens are forced into a stage four drought plan and ordered to halt outdoor watering.
That contingency plan was designed for emergency drought conditions, not during record rainfall and not for freeway delays. So what went wrong?
My questions have landed me in a briar patch of excuses about timelines, contractors, permits, and deadlines. But what's the bottom line?
This water line should have been moved in the spring or fall, not in the summer. Once again, the best interest of the citizens has taken a back seat to city management deadlines. And I'll bet our elected officials weren't even informed of the severity of the issue until it was too late. We do know for sure they gave citizens very little warning.
But consider this, the biggest tragedy here is small businesses.
Nurseries and landscapers got virtually no notice their livelihoods would be threatened by an emergency watering ban. An emergency they saw coming months ago. And if they didn't see this coming, why not? Where was the red flag as we approached the summer months?
And it could have been worse. I'm told we were close to having to boil water for fear of a contaminated supply. It is appalling to me a city the size of Lubbock could be brought to its knees like this because no one communicated. At the very least, I think City Hall owes every citizen an apology on this one.
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