News Column

GTUA approves $2.2 million in bonds for Van Alstyne water projects

August 18, 2014

By Michael Hutchins, Herald Democrat, Sherman, Texas

Aug. 18--The Greater Texoma Utility Authority Board of Trustees approved the sale of $2.2 million in bonds for financing water projects in the city of Van Alstyne during a meeting on Monday. The projects include a series of upgrades in to the city's wastewater treatment plant, and a connection to the Collin-Grayson Municipal Alliance waterline.

Traditionally, the city has been served by other ground water sources, GTUA Director Drew Satterwhite said. The waterline was completed by the GTUA in 2007 and included involvement from the city.

"Now they are getting ready to tap that resource to augment their ground water resources," said Satterwhite.

The GTUA will be purchasing $485,000 in bond debt through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund with an interest rate of 1.4 percent, said Satterwhite. This will finance the design and preparation for the project and include a 15 percent contingency.

The pipeline connection project will also include laboratory analysis for blending surface and well water, a new pump station and a transmission pipeline.

Len McManus, representing McManus & Johnson Consulting Engineers, said he expects specifications for project to be completed in January, and for the water to be turned on at the pipeline by next summer.

In a second action, the Board approved the sale of a $1.7 million bond toward the design and construction of upgrades at the city's wastewater treatment plant. The project includes new grit collectors, a detention basin and other collection system upgrades, said Satterwhite.

The bond will be purchased through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund with an interest rate of 2.33 percent, said Satterwhite.

In a separate action, the Board granted approval to soliciting for bids for both projects. The bonds are expected to be sold next month.

In other matters, the Board authorized a resolution requesting financial participation from the Texas Water Development Board for upgrades to the Sherman water treatment plant increase its capacity by 10 million gallons per day. The project is budgeted for $2.51 million.

GTUA Board Vice President Bill Johnson said when a facility utilizes 75 percent of its capacity, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will request design services begin on upgrades to the site. At 90 percent, the TCEQ will request that work be done to increase the capacity.

"They are bumping against that mark," said Johnson, referring to the 75 percent mark.

The upgrade utilize reverse osmosis to remove minerals from the Lake Texoma water pumped to the facility, said Satterwhite. The technology was available when the facility was built in 1993, but it was not cost effective at the time, he said. Currently, the facility uses electrodialysis reversal to remove minerals from the drinking water.

The financing agreement will not cover construction of the project, said Satterwhite. In 2016, when the project is expected to enter the construction phase, it may be eligible for funding through the State Water Implementation Fund of Texas, said Satterwhite. Construction is expected to take one year.

In a separate action, the Board selected CH2M HILL to provide engineering services for the project. The company also provided engineering services for the facility when it was originally constructed in 1993.

The Board also welcomed a new member on Monday as Brad Morgan was sworn in. Morgan was appointed to the position earlier this month to fill a vacancy on the board created by the death of David Sprowl late last year. Morgan previously served on Sherman'sPlanning and Zoning Commission for six years.


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Source: Herald Democrat (Sherman, TX)

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