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Krum closer on wastewater plant

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

KRUM — City officials in Krum hope to begin construction on a new $2.8 million wastewater treatment plant by summer 2014 and have it operational about nine months after construction begins.

The city is nearing the end of getting the project approved by the state, but officials hit another unexpected roadblock in the process, delaying their schedule for another three to four weeks.

“Seems like we’ve been working [on] this forever,” said Jerry Chapman of the Greater Texoma Utility Authority during a City Council meeting last week.

Chapman said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a preliminary decision for the treatment plant’s permit approval, but the agency delayed issuing a final ruling for about three weeks.

“That’s another two to three weeks we really hadn’t counted in the schedule,” Chapman said. “I wish I could be more optimistic with the time frame, but this is what we have to work with.”

City officials were hoping to award the contracts by late September, but Chapman said the delay may push the schedule back until mid- or late November.

And this isn’t the first obstacle city officials have run into while pushing for a new treatment plant.

In 2012, officials were expecting to start construction this past spring, but a protest from the city of Denton regarding a wastewater discharge permit kept the city from proceeding.

However, the city of Denton withdrew the protest and the permit was issued and Krum officials closed on a $2.8 million bond late in 2012.

Chapman said he does not expect any more delays beyond the TCEQ’s approval.

“We’ve lost about three to four weeks, but we’re entering the final steps, and we should be able to get everything going before the end of the year,” he said.

The final steps in the process for the city are to receive the TCEQ’s permit approval, an engineering review by the Texas Water Development Board and to advertise and receive bids.

Michael James of MLA Consulting LLC said he expects a quick turnaround in the review process by the development board.

Chapman said if and when the city receives the development board’s approval, the city can begin advertising for project bids, but construction can’t begin without the TCEQ’s approval.

By this fall, the city expects to award the contract to a contractor, who will then proceed with construction.

In a recent interview, Mayor Terri Wilson said the city is doing everything necessary to get the wastewater plant built to meet city needs.

“We’re on our way to getting this project completed, and it’s going to have a great impact on the city,” she said.

The new wastewater plant is one in a long line of projects related to helping the city improve its sanitary sewer system.

According to city and state documents, the TCEQ cited the city for a few violations, including a number a sanitary sewer overflows.

Since then, the city voluntarily entered into a state program designed to help cities reduce the number of overflows by coming up with measures to improve sewer systems.

In 2009, the city released an action plan to improve sewer problems.

Previous improvements include cleaning sewer lines in known problem areas, rehabilitating sewer lines in downtown and replacing a line that runs along East McCart Street.

Officials said the improvements are necessary to address the city’s growing population and to meet state requirements.

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