GUNTER, Texas (KTEN) — The City of Gunter is being fined nearly $30,000 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for wastewater violations.

The fines were issued in December 2021 after the city discharged wastewater without a permit.

During this time, city officials were working to sell their water system, but did not immediately address the fines.

The wastewater plant was discharging without a permit for almost a year. Now a new city staff is hoping to work with TCEQ and participate in a supplemental environmental project to offset the payment.

"Instead of using $29,000 there, we can use $29,000 to do something environmental that helps our residents and our city," said Mayor Karen Souther.

She said city leaders are turning to residents for ideas to use the penalty money for projects to improve Gunter's environment.

Taxpayers have until June 15th to submit their ideas to the city.

For a list of approved SEP ideas from TCEQ click here.