Bryan residents push for alternate options as College Station plans sewer project

A mile-long sewage line is being proposed to go through the middle of Beverly Estates, a historic neighborhood in Bryan. This would not serve any Bryan residents.
KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 9:19 PM CST
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BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Residents in Bryan say they’re ready for a fight with the City of College Station. Leaders say the relationship between the neighboring cities could be in jeopardy.

A mile-long sewage line is being proposed to go through the middle of Beverly Estates, a historic neighborhood in Bryan. This is part of a larger sewer project, that is five miles long, and would not serve any Bryan residents.

The neighborhood was shown two options in a heated meeting between Bryan residents and the City of College Station Wednesday night: build the sewer line in front of the homes, or behind them.

The City of College Station says it has to expand sewer capabilities, due to growth in the Northgate area . The proposed sewer line would put construction crews in the quiet neighborhood for up to a year and a half.

Neighbors in Bryan say this move is avoidable, but College Station says they will consider eminent domain if they can’t get an agreement. Jennifer Cain, the Director of Capital Projects for College Station, presented the options to residents Wednesday night. But, she faced a lot of interruptions from residents and leaders in the audience.

“It really is the desire of the City of College Station to get that feedback and see what we can do to make it as at least impactful as possible,” Cain said.

But, from those interruptions, it seemed the options presented are not some these residents will consider.

Beverly Estates HOA President, Scott Hickle, says they are ready to do what they need to stop this in its tracks.

“Our homeowners have all shared and they are unequivocal and unanimous in this,” he said. “I support what is in the best interests of everyone and that is a lift station.”

The current project proposed is a gravity sewage line. During the meeting, College Station staff said going through Rosemary is the only way to build the incline necessary for that type of line. But, a lift station is another option to transport sewage. If College Station was to build a new lift station to keep up with growth, Bryan leaders say the sewage line through Bryan would not be required.

During Wednesday’s meeting, College Station staff cited lift stations’ cost, maintenance and reliability as reasons why it wasn’t the best option.

For residents in Bryan, this sounded like the only option.

“We’re going to have to deal with torn-up streets and lack of accessibility to basic resources and that’s going to occur for a year and a half and then at the end of it, we’re going to look at a denuded atmosphere on our neighborhood with very few trees,” Hickle said.

Residents and leaders spoke out against the proposal for the line through Rosemary Drive including Bryan Mayor, Bobby Guiterrez. During the meeting, he told city staff that the decision on this could impact the relationship between the cities for decades.

“We have to make sure that we’re all totally working together because sometimes there are other costs that are involved that you can’t overcome,” he said.

Guiterrez also said College Station’s reasonings for not wanting a lift station are moot. He said the City of Bryan as well as Texas A&M have offered to help offset the cost of a new lift station. He also offered the services of Bryan’s lift station maintenance worker and backup generators.

KBTX reached out to the City of College Station and staff to ask more about its lift station concerns, and how solutions provided by outside entities are being considered.

On Tuesday night in a Bryan City Council meeting, the council unanimously approved a brand-new lift station for the city that will service residents near RELLIS. Guiterrez said Bryan has 25 lift stations total, and the council had no issues passing or maintaining another.

KBTX will continue following this story as conversations continue.