Reconstruction of the long-stalled wastewater treatment plant at Seawolf Park has cleared a hurdle with preliminary permission from the regulating state agency.

The treatment plan sustained significant damage during Hurricane Ike in 2008 and since then has been closed, city spokeswoman Marissa Barnett said.

The draft permit came to the city Nov. 15 from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the agency in charge of regulating wastewater facilities, and allows an interim flow discharge of 5,000 gallons a day of treated water, according to agency documents. The commission received Galveston’s permit application in January.

Once it receives the final permit, the city can begin seeking a contractor for construction of the 5,000-gallon facility on Pelican Island, Barnett said Friday.

The city expects the final permit within the next six months, she said.

“The Seawolf Park wastewater treatment facility is one of several projects the city has undertaken since Hurricane Ike,” Barnett said.

The federally funded dollars dedicated to replacing the facility are in place and design is nearly complete, Barnett said.

Constructing a new wastewater treatment plant is a crucial step needed to carry out a 2014 master plan for Seawolf Park. The plan proposes an RV park, sand volleyball courts and a water taxi to Galveston Island, according to the master plan.

The RV park component has been in discussion for years.

In 2012, the Galveston Park Board of Trustees voted to allow a privately-owned RV park at Seawolf Park to be owned and operated by local developer Lamson Nguyen. However, this contract has since been terminated, park board spokeswoman Mary Beth Bassett said.

The park board maintains Seawolf Park and has balked at the cost of operating its own RV park at the site.

At the time Nguyen estimated the park would cost $1 million to build and that he’d pay $24,000 a year in rent to the park board, along with a monthly fee based on the number of RVs using the park.

Nguyen could not be reached for comment Friday.

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; or on Twitter @HeathKeri.


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