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FINDING FUNDING IS NOW VITAL
Pearsall City Manager Federico Reyes announced last week that he is looking for funding sources for an infrastructure project that will supply water and wastewater to the north side of town.
During a presentation by CDM Smith Engineer Wendy Lundeen on Tuesday, September 12, councilors learned the comprehensive design plan for the two square miles of property annexed by the city in 2018 is nearly complete.
“The water line study, as far as the engineering plans, is ready,” Lundeen said. “We are just waiting on funding. We are currently working on the sanitary plans.”
Schematics presented by Lundeen during the meeting show the wastewater lines will run on both the east and west side of Business IH-35 from Pearsall High School to Jack’s Produce with two lift stations. The proposed water line extension will begin on the east side of the road at the intersection of Business IH-35 and Field’s Road and extend to Jack’s Produce, cross under the road, and run south along the west side before crossing under the road near the mixing plant and tying into the existing system.
Lundeen said the Texas Department of Transportation has a future project that includes repairing the roadway into the back entrance of the high school and sidewalks on Oak Street.
“We want to work together to do the projects,” Lundeen said. “We want to get in front of [the] TxDOT [project] so that way when they are ready we can install without the city having to make repairs.”
The CDM Smith engineer told councilors the city should work aggressively to find the necessary funding for the work.
“We are seeking funding from the Texas Water Development Board,” Lundeen said. “If we do not get the water board funding, we can look at financing a low-interest non-competitive loan through the Texas Water Development Board D-fund. We want to combine the two projects into one, so we can move forward with one contractor.”
According to the engineer, the city is awaiting an answer for potential funding through the second round of clean water state revolving funds and should receive an answer in mid-September.
The city has submitted a request for $21.8 million.
City Manager Reyes reiterated Lundeen’s plea for urgency in funding the infrastructure project.
“They are not going to wait forever,” Reyes said. “We are going to need to make a decision by the winter. We did not anticipate that TxDOT was doing sidewalks. The financing piece needs to happen in the next three months.”
The estimated cost for the construction of the infrastructure projects is $14.5 million and does not include inspection or engineering services during construction.