City hopes to leverage federal money for water improvement | Local news

When the federal government turns on the tap of the water infrastructure dollars, Greenville will attempt to refill its glass.

Like most cities in Texas, Greenville could use one or two of those dollars to take care of parts of its drinking water system.

Texas is expected to receive about $ 2.9 billion over 10 years for water development projects, according to a Dallas Morning News analysis. The money will come from the more than $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill recently passed by Congress.

When asked to rank the city’s drinking water treatment and distribution system, Public Works Manager Press Tompkins gave Greenville a B.

“We have great water,” said Tomkins, who notes that the city regularly receives the Texas Optimization Award for water quality. However, one challenge facing the city is the age of many of the system components, especially in the northern part of the city.

“Much of this infrastructure hasn’t been upgraded for 30 or 40 years,” Tompkins said.

The city has already begun to take care of two major components of its drinking water system: its aging water treatment plant and the supply line that carries water from Lake Tawakoni to the city’s reservoirs to the north. from the city.

Not so long ago, the city issued bond certificates to finance the construction of a new 21-mile line connecting Lake Tawakoni to its reservoirs. Tompkins estimated the cost of the project to be between $ 40 million and $ 50 million. The current 27-inch line is prone to breakage as the underlying soil shifts, according to Tompkins.

“The press deals with several interruptions in this line on an annual basis that cost around $ 100,000 to $ 150,000,” said Mayor Jerry Ransom. “It’s around $ 30,000 or $ 40,000 each time he take a break. “

The new line, which will be 36 inches in diameter, will also extend 800 feet further into the lake. It will be more reliable and provide the city with a larger volume of water. The old line will be rehabilitated to give the city redundancy capability, according to Tompkins.

The processing plant was last renovated in 1994, according to city manager Summer Spurlock. The city wants to modernize and increase the capacity of the plant, she said.

One of the challenges Greenville faces is that its water has to be moved from the city’s northern outskirts through aging pipes to other parts of the city, city officials say. Any change in water pressure and volume can create problems with older pipes.

When it comes to its overall water supply, the city is in great shape.

Greenville contracts with the Sabine River Authority and has an allowance of 19 million gallons per day. On average, he uses about 8 million a day, according to Tompkins. Greenville sells part of its remaining allotment to Caddo Mills, Shady Grove and Jacobia.

As for receiving federal infrastructure dollars for its water system, bringing federal dollars to Greenville is no simple matter, according to Tompkins.

“The mistake is that they throw money out there and we can just go and pick it up; it’s an extremely expensive process to get federal funds, ”he said.

Still, the city has every intention of raising some of that money.

City officials wereted no time discussing the issue with federal lobbyist Greenville as well as his representatives in Congress over access to infrastructure money, Ransom said.