City of Alvord secures state grant

By David Talley | Published Saturday, October 21, 2017

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The city of Alvord was awarded a $275,000 Texas Community Development block grant earlier this month to help improve its existing water lines.

City services coordinator Clint Mercer said, based on historical repair data and engineer advice, the area slated for refurbishment includes the majority of North Proctor Street with portions of Woody and Live Oak Streets.

“As in many small communities across Texas, the city of Alvord’s water system is aging. It is a constant battle to not only maintain what we have, but also meet growing demand,” Mercer said in an email Tuesday. “These lines were selected based on the ability to benefit the most households possible with the available funds.

“This will be an area we will continue to improve in future years with other available funding methods.”

The lines in that area were originally installed to supply a smaller number of homes. Replacing them with more modern materials and increasing their diameter improves flow both for homes on those streets, but also homes on other streets.

In December, when the city discussed applying for the grant, Mercer told council members the most the city would need to pay to match the grant is $13,725. He confirmed Wednesday that figure still stands. He said the city is actually negotiating to meet its requirement through work done on the project at an equal value.

“This would allow the money originally budgeted to either extend the scope of the project or to be used toward similar capital improvements,” he said.

The city has established agreements with Amazing Grants in Big Sandy for grant administration and Freeman-Millican Inc. in Dallas for engineering services and is anticipating an official contract date in the next few weeks. Grant documents and information on the project are available to the public at city hall.

Moving forward, Mercer said, the city is also considering the future of its water tower located on North Wickham Street.

“The city council has made this a priority and has authorized city staff to prepare specifications for a future request for proposals regarding the feasibility and affordability of a refurbishment project regarding the water tower,” he said.

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