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Pilot Point focuses on roads

Profile image for By John D. Harden / Staff Writer
By John D. Harden / Staff Writer

Officials OK $227,862 bid for improvements

PILOT POINT — City officials said they are ready to begin work on a project to help level roads, fill gaps and coat the streets with a layer of chip seal in an effort to improve road conditions.

The officials announced their intentions to begin the street improvements after approving a $227,862 bid from WOPAC Construction Inc. last week during a City Council meeting.

The city plans to work on about 20 roads and many them are located in the northern section of city near Pilot Point High School and various roads on the eastern half of the city, according to a staff report.

According to city officials, some streets may require more work and expense to repair, and that will impact the number of streets that can be worked on.

Emphasis on priority is based upon street condition, City Manager Tom Adams said.

The city would like to begin work in the project as soon as possible, Adams said. He estimated that the work would begin closer to August.

The approved bid from WOPAC Construction is under what the city had budgeted for street improvements as its leaders begin discussing the project, according to staff reports.

Earlier this year, the city identified about $336,500 to be used for street improvements.

Some of the funds came from a combination of the city’s general capital improvement program and the city’s fund balance.

“The goal was to make the funds go as far as we possibly can with maintenance work,” Adams said.

If additional funds are available after working on the primary streets, the city will try to complete other blocks that need repair.

The roadwork is part of a long list of infrastructural improvements the city has planned.

City officials approved a 7.2 percent increase to the city water rates and a 2.1 percent rate increase to the sewer rates earlier this year. That will help repay $1.1 million in tax bonds, which the city will use to pay for sidewalk improvements, historical preservation projects and park improvements.

Other projects include water system improvements and the drilling of a well, which is currently underway, and adding a 200,000-gallon groundwater storage tank.

The city also has plans to replace more than 20 miles of water and sewer lines. Officials blamed the aging water and sewer lines for about one quarter of the city’s water loss.

The estimated cost of the project is about $6 million and the city plans to carry out the project with an in-house team of employees instead of contracting the work.

“Replacing water and sewer lines has been one of our major goals,” Mayor Pete Hollar said.

Adams said the project will require refinancing the city’s current debt structure and raising water rates.

“That will free up some significant space in our budget, helping with getting that project in place,” Adams said.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.