WhatsApp Local News WhatsApp Twitter By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 Pinterest TAGS Ector County Utility District President Tommy Ervin answers questions after a town hall held Thursday at Buddy West Elementary School. Infrastructure expansion dominated discussion during a town hall meeting that sought to bring Ector County Utility District officials and customers on the same page, but many attendees left discontent with the information they received.Engineering and finance consultants who work with the utility district used the majority of the meeting Thursday to clarify the factors that are driving board members to take action, what projects are needed to relieve system deficiencies and how ECUD plans to finance development in West Odessa.The utility district was established in 1976 and has had an ongoing history of low water pressure concerns.Ector County Utility District President Tommy Ervin said board members realized in 2013 that the water system could not keep up with the population growth occurring in the district.The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires public water systems to maintain a set of minimum operating practices, including maintaining a normal operating pressure of 35 pounds per square inch throughout the system.Ervin said acting now is important because the utility district is on the edge of that minimum requirement with some areas experiencing water pressure as low as 38 psi.ECUD took steps to find viable options that would enhance their system’s operation and developed a master water plan that is expected to meet current and future customer needs for the next 25 years.The master water plan was drafted and designed by the Fort Worth engineering firm Kimley-Horn.“The biggest thing for me was to ensure the system was compliant with state standards,” John Atkins of Kimley-Horn said. “What we’ve tried to do is minimize the amount of infrastructure that ECUD would have to pay for to get this system compliant with TCEQ.”Residents who attended the town hall were taken on a virtual tour of West Odessa to see exactly where proposed improvements and pipelines would be located. The digital rendering showed two water towers added on Knox Avenue and Tripp Avenue, toward the Interstate Highway 20 border of the utility district, and a pump station located on 42nd Street.Chris Ekrut of NewGen Strategies & Solutions presented information that detailed the financial commitments ECUD would have to make in order to execute the master water plan.The district has applied for a $45.7 million loan from the Texas Water Development Board, which provides water planning resources and loans to local governments for water supply and quality projects. Through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan program, ECUD is eligible to use the agency’s loan funding to upgrade their water infrastructure.Ekrut said the advantage of this form of funding is that ECUD receives a lower interest rate than if they borrowed the money from another source. He said the estimated savings to the district total about $13 million over the 30-year life of the loan.As of last month, the loan application was administratively complete by ECUD and is undergoing review by TWDB staff. Final approval on the loan is not expected until November or later.“The board is looking through all of this documentation, they’re looking through all the records of the district, they’re sending people out to talk to district personnel and what they’re trying to gauge and measure is the financial, managerial and technical capability of the district to take on this project,” Ekrut said.The process is like qualifying for a mortgage when buying a house.“They’re going to compare (your income) to what you’re trying to borrow and make sure that you have enough money and that you have the capability to pay back the debt,” Ekrut said.He said water rate increases placed on customers in February have been necessary to demonstrate that the district can generate enough revenue to repay the loan.“If we cannot get funding from the board, that doesn’t absolve you or the district from doing this project,” Ekrut told the audience. “The project still has to happen because the state says these are the requirements and you have to meet those. “If we can’t get funding from the board, we’ve got to look elsewhere and that drives the interest rates up and that drives the cost up.”Robert Chacon, a West Odessa resident, said there should be exemptions for senior citizens on fixed incomes and those that use less water.“I’m using 10 gallons of water a month to water a couple of trees on an empty lot,” Chacon said. “I used to pay $27 and now I’m paying $77. It just doesn’t seem fair.”The utility district provided handouts for seniors at the town hall that listed local programs that provide assistance with utility payments.Jeannie Blankinship is another county resident whose question for board members centered on what they are doing to communicate with customers.Blankinship said grassroots efforts should not be the main way residents receive information and emphasized the district’s need for a website to consistently relay messages to customers.“You can’t leave your communication part out, that’s where everything crumbles,” Blankinship said.Several other residents after the presentation said they remained unconvinced that the infrastructure improvements were even necessary. 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Antarctic and Southern Ocean (ASO) marine ecosystems have been changing for at least the last 30 years, including in response to increasing ocean temperatures and changes in the extent and seasonality of sea-ice; the magnitude and direction of these changes differ between regions around Antarctica that could see populations of the same species changing differently in different regions. This paper reviews current and expected changes in ASO physical habitats in response to climate change. It then reviews how these changes may impact the autecology of marine biota of this polar region: microbes, zooplankton, salps, Antarctic krill, fish, cephalopods, marine mammals, seabirds, and benthos. The general prognosis for ASO marine habitats is for an overall warming and freshening, strengthening of westerly winds, with a potential pole-ward movement of those winds and the frontal systems, and an increase in ocean eddy activity. Many habitat parameters will have regionally specific changes, particularly relating to sea-ice characteristics and seasonal dynamics. Lower trophic levels are expected to move south as the ocean conditions in which they are currently found move pole-ward. For Antarctic krill and finfish, the latitudinal breadth of their range will depend on their tolerance of warming oceans and changes to productivity. Ocean acidification is a concern not only for calcifying organisms, but also for crustaceans such as Antarctic krill; it is also likely to be the most important change in benthic habitats over the coming century. For marine mammals and birds, the expected changes primarily relate to their flexibility in moving to alternative locations for food and the energetic cost of longer or more complex foraging trips for those that are bound to breeding colonies. Few species are sufficiently well studied to make comprehensive species-specific vulnerability assessments possible. Priorities for future work are discussed.
PetroTal shuts down Bretana oilfield amidst covid-19 crisis. (Credit: 272447/Pixabay.) US-based oil and gas company PetroTal has announced temporary shut-in of Bretana oil field in Peru due to covid-19 pipeline closure and storage capacity limitations.The move comes after the state-owned company Petroperu announced the shut down the Northern Oil Pipeline (ONP), after the health department of the Peruvian government issued a directive for covid-19 prevention in high risk areas and for high risk individuals.On 27 May 2019, PetroTal entered into a pipeline transportation service contract with Petroperu to gain access to Peru’s ONP.PetroTal stated: “Although Petroperu has filed an appeal with the Peruvian government to allow the pipeline to resume operations on the basis that it is an essential service, it is not clear how long the pipeline operations will remain suspended.“PetroTal has commenced steps to temporarily shut down oil production at the Bretana oil field due to storage capacity limitations.”The company has also updated the market on financing initiatives to accommodate the impact of oil price reductions on oil sales at the Bretana field in Peru’s block 95.Planned capital expenditure of PetroTal for 2020 continues to be deferredPetroTal said its planned capital expenditure for 2020 remains deferred and has reduced overall general and administrative costs by approximately 20%.The cost reductions includes company-wide salary cuts, including cash compensation reductions of 20% for management and directors.The company added that the oil field shutdown would lead to cost reductions for operating, transportation and general and administrative expenses.PetroTal president and CEO Manolo Zuniga said: “PetroTal continues to support initiatives to ensure the Peruvian government provides the support needed during this pandemic, just as other countries have done. “In the meantime, we continue to work on securing the necessary financial backing to ensure we are properly funded and emerge stronger from this crisis. “PetroTal appreciates the ongoing dedication of all employees and the support for our business during these challenging times of the pandemic impact.”In April, PetroTal had completed its third horizontal well 6H in the Bretana oil field. The company has temporarily shut down the pipeline as a result of a directive from the Peruvian government intended to combat the spread of COVID-19
Home » News » Land & New Homes » New homes development is way behind demand previous nextLand & New HomesNew homes development is way behind demandThe Negotiator8th December 20170915 Views The UK housing crisis has entered a critical phase, with the fastest growing towns and cities building as few as one new home for every 23 new residents.Development in Britain’s ten fastest growing towns and cities cannot keep pace with their expanding populations, according to a new analysis by Minerva Lending PLC, a listed property bond, which provides loans used by developers to convert offices into homes.Belfast tops the list of the UK’s fastest growing towns and cities but is building the smallest number of new homes relative to population growth – one new home for every 23 new residents – according to the study of Office for National Statistics figures.In Britain’s second fastest growing city, Coventry, the population expanded by 35,951 in five years but just 5,390 homes were built in that time.London ranks sixth as the fastest growing city with the capital’s population expanding by 7.5%, or 613,951 people, between 2011 and 2016. But again, property development is lagging sharply behind with just 124,020 new homes built over the entire five year period — one home for every five new inhabitants.At the other end of the scale, Blackpool is Britain’s fastest shrinking town or city. Its population declined by 2 per cent (2,870) between 2011 and 2016 to 139,578. Meanwhile, 710 new homes were completed.Ross Andrews, Director, Minerva Lending, said, “This road to ruin of inadequate building is going to end the dream of home ownership for many millions of people over the next 20 years.“One in 200 people in England is reportedly already homeless. It’s already a national emergency that will only be exacerbated if the government does not deliver a housing strategy that works – soon.“Property developers often struggle to raise funds from traditional lenders so it’s vital, if conversions are to play a bigger role, that it is made as easy as possible for investors to target the problem with their capital.”new homes in Bangor new homes development UK housing crisis Fraser Homes December 8, 2017The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021
× THANK YOU STUDENT COUNCIL — On behalf of Mrs. Barone and the student council at Mary J. Donohoe, thank you to everyone who participated in wear blue/jersey day. We raised $375 for the Division of Recreation Buddy Baseball program!
Flooding at 32nd Street and Haven Avenue during the height of the four-day northeast gale that swamped streets last weekend. City Council on Thursday awarded a $642,420 contract to Michael Baker International Company to design drainage and roadway improvements in an area of Ocean City buried under floodwaters many times a year.Noreen McBride of the 3200 block of Simpson Avenue told City Council that she moved her car to higher ground at the nearby Acme on Friday as a northeast gale caused the highest tides in Ocean City since Superstorm Sandy. She said she was “marooned in (her) house for three days” as the ensuing flood never receded.That’s the situation that McBride’s neighbors, Baker International and City Council want to improve for the area between 26th and 34th streets, Bay and West avenues.Council unanimously approved the resolution naming Baker as the design contractor. The same company completed a $44,720 engineering study of the area.The firm outlined potential fixes that could cost more than $12.5 million in a neighborhood meeting in August. Read more: Residents Happy to Hear Plan to Stem Tide on City Streets.The contract awarded on Thursday covers only the design work, permitting and other preliminary study. Council still would have to appropriate funds to execute the plans, and no timeline for that was discussed on Thursday.Merion Park resident Marty Mozzo talked about a similar project designed by Baker International for another of Ocean City’s low-lying neighborhoods.The improvements couldn’t stop the worst flooding he’s seen since 2009 and 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, Mozzo said, for five successive high tides.“But in the old days, the tide would not drain,” he said. “This time each and every tide drained. I think the other folks will enjoy what Baker is doing.”Suzanne Hornick, a leader of the OC Flooding citizens’ group advocating to expedite drainage improvements island-wide, thanked Mayor Jay Gillian and City Council “for everything you’ve done so far.” She also asked the administration to consider forming a volunteer group of property owners from each ward, Baker International representatives and city officials to work together on remediation plans.Ocean City Business Administrator Jim Mallon also reported to City Council that the city’s engineers are working on a separate island-wide comprehensive assessment of drainage needs.Mallon said the work is about 25 percent complete and ultimately will be input into the city’s GIS system and also available for the public to view online.Read more: Council Roundup: Pickleball Is In, OCTC Improvements on the Way__________Get the Daily: Sign up for free updates on Ocean City news
FARMINGTON – County Commissioners received a mostly-positive report relating to phone issues at the Franklin Regional Communications Center on Tuesday, while also discussing a multi-hour outage that impacted the lines last Thursday.CL Folsom, the county’s communications director, had previously reported a steadily-worsening issue involving the dispatch center’s so-called “non-emergency” business line. Callers had been trying to contact the dispatch center on its county phone line and could not be heard by the dispatcher. The problem, which had gotten worse since December 2018, was considered a serious one even though it didn’t impact 9-1-1. Callers are not always certain whether their issues constitute an emergency, and therefore call the dispatch business line, 778-6140, rather than 9-1-1. In some cases, those business line calls represent true emergencies.GWI maintains the county’s phone service. The 9-1-1 system is separate, operating on a statewide, closed system that is managed by Consolidated Communications.Folsom said Tuesday that the county had seen significant improvement in regards to the issue. Only two instances of the problem have been recently reported: a cause has been identified for one of the calls while the other is still being researched.A separate issue relating to GWI hit the dispatch center last Thursday, when it endured a six-hour outage of its non-9-1-1 phone service. The timing, Folsom noted, was particularly bad as the dispatch center was dealing with a bomb threat purportedly targeting a Regional School Unit 9 bus. Due to buses being on the road during the threat, the response was a complex one that involved local, county and state police, fire departments and other public entities such as school personnel from multiple districts. A Franklin County Sheriff’s Office investigation identified a 10-year-old elementary student as the alleged caller later that evening; that juvenile has been charged with terrorizing.The outage was caused by a generator that failed to deliver power to a Portland-area building that houses GWI’s datacenter, among other companies’ equipment, after an accident in the area interrupted commercial power. After the battery backups failed around 12:22 p.m., GWI’s servers went offline. Central Maine Power soon restored commercial power following the accident, but it took until 9 p.m. for the network to stabilize.During the outage, Folsom said, callers to the dispatch center would get busy signals or experience other issues. Dispatchers enabled a countywide chat system to allow interdepartmental communication and Folsom provided agencies with his cellphone number to create a point of contact. An alternative number that was functioning was posted on Facebook.On Tuesday, commissioners approved the installation of two landlines and three phones at the dispatch center to act as a failsafe. Unlike the typical countywide system, which uses Voice over Internet Protocol plugging into the GWI servers, these would be actual landline phones with an alternate public number to be used during outages. One line would be public, Folsom said, while the other would be reserved for emergency communications.That way, if the VOIP system went down again, the dispatch center could continue to use those landlines to communicate. Having such backups is a common practice across the state, county officials said.The cost of all new phones and lines is $75 per month. Commissioner Clyde Barker and Chair Terry Brann were unanimous in approving the installation.Both Folsom and Jim Desjardins, the county’s technical service manager, said that GWI had been responsive to both the outage and the now-improved phone line issue. Two, $1,800 credits had been provided to the county.In other business, commissioners approved requiring county employees to utilize direct deposit for their paychecks as of March 1. That change, which will impact roughly eight people, is estimated to save the county $1,000 a year in supplies and other associated costs.
North Carolina festival Mantrabash has announced that it will go on hiatus in 2016. Hosted by the jam band baring its name, The Mantras, Mantrabash has grown steadily since its inception in 2010, featuring bands like Dopapod, The Werks, Particle, Snarky Puppy, TAUK, Aqueous and Consider The Source. In a short statement posted on the festival’s social media pages, Mantrabash organizers state, “Due to circumstances well beyond our control, Mantrabash will be taking this year off. Look for us to be back, better than ever, in 2017… We love you all!”This news comes in the wake of a number of festival hiatuses, including Wakarusa and the Gathering Of The Vibes, as well as a festival terminations in the All Good Music Festival and Tomorrowland. Here’s to the return of Mantrabash in 2017![H/T NYS Music/Cover photo via Mantrabash]
Fans were delivered a double dose of pleasure on Friday, August 5th at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY. Counting Crows and Rob Thomas put on an impressive display of professional musicianship for over three hours. The sprawling and bucolic venue is nestled in the rustic setting of Bethel, New York – and actually a historic site as it was built where the original Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place. The weather was perfect and the pavilion and lawn housed a near-capacity crowd. Rob Thomas has been entertaining the masses for two decades and he brings a celebrated catalog of well-written songs. He led a varied set which represented many of his past hits and recently released hits. He is touring in support of his album, “The Great Unknown,” a title which refers to his wife’s brave struggles with a severe illness. With his trademark look with an earring in each ear, skinny jeans and a buzz haircut, the man is admired by men and women alike. It is his passion for the music and a powerful delivery that lures them in like a tractor beam. There were multiple highlights over the course of the one hour+ set. At one point he stated from the stage, “I’ll be playing a bunch of cover songs tonight, but it’s ok – I wrote them.” Naturally he was referring to the classics he created as frontman and composer for the band Matchbox Twenty. The “covers” included “Bent”, “Unwell” a poignant and alternate take on the band’s biggest hit, “3 A.M.” This presentation was an alternate piano version both subtle, yet powerful and contagious. The crooner also covered David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” which was offered in a fun and punchy fashion as Thomas darted around the stage with an enthusiastic and youthful exuberance. The peak of the night was the incendiary version of the 1999 latin-tinged blockbuster #1 song “Smooth.” The song helped Thomas garner 3 Grammy Awards that year including the coveted “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year.” Buoyed by the bombastic beats, the crowd erupted to their feet to dance and sing along to the classic. Thomas added a call and response to the audience at the end with the delivery of “Give me your heart, make it real” before turning the microphone towards the audience for their participatory, “Let’s not forget about it.” It was ironic as Thomas had given his heart to the crowd and the fans indeed would not forget about it anytime soon. The show concluded with a fiery “This is How a Heart Breaks” – a song derived from the 2005 “…Something to Be” album. Setlist: Rob Thomas at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY – 8/5/16Set: Something to Be, Mockingbird, Her Diamonds, Getting Late, Lonely No More, Let’s Dance, Fire on the Mountain, 3 AM, Someday, Bent, Pieces, Unwell, Streetcorner Symphony, Smooth, This is How the Heart BreakLong-time Counting Crows frontman, Adam Durwitz, celebrated his 52nd birthday last week and clearly the party is still going. They shared a satisfying and intense set of quality music. Counting Crows is Adam Duritz (vocals), Jim Bogios (drums), David Bryson (guitar), Charlie Gillingham (keys), David Immergluck (guitar), Millard Powers (bass) and Dan Vickrey (guitar) – all professional musicians who know how to pound out a groove and fill in around Durwitz’s low and unique voice. Having released seven albums, with the most recent being 2014’s “Somewhere Under Wonderland”, there is a trove of rich material to choose from. The band jumpstarted the show with “Round Here” – a slow, emotional song and second single released from their 1993 debut smash album, “August and Everything After.” The live version demonstrated the range of the band and was an alluring start.Adorning his patented dreadlocks, Durwitz again exuded cool and it comes to no surprise he is well-known to have dated some of the most beautiful actresses in the land. Wearing an ELO t-shirt, paying homage to the successful 70’s band, he steered the band through an anticipated highlight. The band’s biggest hit, released in 1993, “Mr. Jones” was a bit of a disappointment. A deliciously well-crafted pop song, fans sought to scream and dance, but Durwitz slurred his delivery through an uneven and uninspired take on the chart buster. He never even said the line, “I wanna be Bob Dylan” but perhaps having performed it so many times over the past 20+ years he is a bit tired of the ditty that put him on the map. A glaring omission from the set list this tour was their hit from the soundtrack, “Shrek 2”, called “Accidently in Love. “ However the highlight of the night was the evocative and intense “A Long December” which had Durwitz on keys and accompanied by a sexy accordion. Some fervent fans even had tears in their eyes as Durwitz poignantly continued with the popular1996 song. After 3 energetic encores, the band left the crowd feeling satiated and happy for a Friday night filled with such enjoyable musings.There are 30 more national tour dates with one probably at a local venue near you, so check it out! Setlist: Counting Crows at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY – 8/5/16Set List: Round Here, Hanging Tree, Mr. Jones, Color Blind, Los Angeles, Sessions, God of Ocean Tides, Michelangelo, Ghost Train, Elvis Went to Hollywood, A Long December, Murder of OneEncore: Palisades Park, Rain King, Holiday in Spain[Photos by Kevin Ferguson/Courtesy of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts]