CIP plan to focus on biggest infrastructure headache

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK | News-Telegram Managing Editor

July 8, 2007 - Sulphur Springs citizens residing on Houston Street can expect to see a lot of improvements over the coming two years.

That was the big project identified in the city's $2.55 million Capital Improvement Program, including $180,000 for downtown revitalization, presented to City Council members Tuesday night.

Houston Street is the city's biggest infrastucture headache right now  due to a severely deteriorated water main.

"The fact of the matter is our recommendation is based on a sense of urgency," City Manager Marc Maxwell told council members, pointing out that the water main had to be repaired 27 times last year.

"We fear that if we do not replace the water main soon, we will lose it altogether," Maxwell wrote in the report outlining the city staff's CIP recommendations.

The spending budget for the Houston Street project, which includes street, water, sewer and drainage improvements, is estimated at just under $1.2 million in fiscal year 2008, with the bulk of the money going to the water and sewer system.

The street improvements aren't expected until fiscal year 2009, at a projected cost of $1.337  million. There would also be some sewer work and an estimated $445,700 for drainage.

Also included in the CIP proposal that was approved by the council are various downtown improvements, including $86,000 for new sidewalks on Main Street. That work should begin after a new parking plan is selected for Main Street and the street is rebuilt.

The recommendations also requested $94,000 for infrastructure improvements downtown that will be determind at a later date.

"Several ideas are being considered for the downtown area which can be funded through this budget item," Maxwell wrote in the report, referring to a proposal at last month's council meeting for a long-range plan to spruce up downtown.

T-Bone Alley, the allyeway behind buildings on the block bordered by Main, Connally and Davis streets, is also slated for $50,000 in repairs — not "to make it pretty," as Mawell said, but to prepare it for future work. He said it's strictly a utility project to replace old water and sewer lines and other utility services in the alley. Some of the sidewalks will have to be removed and replaced to complete the project, however.

Another project approved Tuesday was an additional water line to the Rose Hill Addition. The second feed should increase water pressure to the area. Projected cost was set at $72,700.

Other projects receiving the council's OK included:

-- Utility relocation on the State Highway 11 extension ($389,050) — When the state highway department begins widening State Highway 19 and Arbala Road for the SH 11 bypass, the city will have to move existing water and sewer lines.

-- Various water projects ($25,000) — Covers smaller water projects, such as replacing aging lines and emergency repairs.

-- Various sewer projects ($100,000) — Replaces old sewer lines that need attention during the year.

-- Fire hydrant and manhole rehab ($35,000 each) — Covers repair and replacement of deteriorating hydrants, and sealing manholes and replacing old brick manholes.

-- Street surfacing ($210,000) — Continues the ongoing surface overlays on existing streets to extend the life of and strengthen roads in the city, as well as making surfaces smoother by offering a leveling effect to improve ride comfort. Since the overlay began about 10 years ago, 56.1 miles of streets have been resurfaced. Another 5.9 miles have been reconstructed.


Houston Street water main was repaired

27 times last year

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK | News-Telegram Managing Editor

Sulphur Springs citizens residing on Houston Street can expect to see a lot of improvements over the coming two years.

That was the big project identified in the city's $2.55 million Capital Improvement Program, including $180,000 for downtown revitalization, presented to City Council members Tuesday night.

Houston Street is the city's biggest infrastucture headache right now  due to a severely deteriorated water main.

"The fact of the matter is our recommendation is based on a sense of urgency," City Manager Marc Maxwell told council members, pointing out that the water main had to be repaired 27 times last year.

"We fear that if we do not replace the water main soon, we will lose it altogether," Maxwell wrote in the report outlining the city staff's CIP recommendations.

The spending budget for the Houston Street project, which includes street, water, sewer and drainage improvements, is estimated at just under $1.2 million in fiscal year 2008, with the bulk of the money going to the water and sewer system.

The street improvements aren't expected until fiscal year 2009, at a projected cost of $1.337  million. There would also be some sewer work and an estimated $445,700 for drainage.

Also included in the CIP proposal that was approved by the council are various downtown improvements, including $86,000 for new sidewalks on Main Street. That work should begin after a new parking plan is selected for Main Street and the street is rebuilt.

The recommendations also requested $94,000 for infrastructure improvements downtown that will be determind at a later date.

"Several ideas are being considered for the downtown area which can be funded through this budget item," Maxwell wrote in the report, referring to a proposal at last month's council meeting for a long-range plan to spruce up downtown.

T-Bone Alley, the allyeway behind buildings on the block bordered by Main, Connally and Davis streets, is also slated for $50,000 in repairs — not "to make it pretty," as Mawell said, but to prepare it for future work. He said it's strictly a utility project to replace old water and sewer lines and other utility services in the alley. Some of the sidewalks will have to be removed and replaced to complete the project, however.

Another project approved Tuesday was an additional water line to the Rose Hill Addition. The second feed should increase water pressure to the area. Projected cost was set at $72,700.

Other projects receiving the council's OK included:

Utility relocation on the State Highway 11 extension ($389,050) — When the state highway department begins widening State Highway 19 and Arbala Road for the SH 11 bypass, the city will have to move existing water and sewer lines.

Various water projects ($25,000) — Covers smaller water projects, such as replacing aging lines and emergency repairs.

Various sewer projects ($100,000) — Replaces old sewer lines that need attention during the year.

Fire hydrant and manhole rehab ($35,000 each) — Covers repair and replacement of deteriorating hydrants, and sealing manholes and replacing old brick manholes.

Street surfacing ($210,000) — Continues the ongoing surface overlays on existing streets to extend the life of and strengthen roads in the city, as well as making surfaces smoother by offering a leveling effect to improve ride comfort. Since the overlay began about 10 years ago, 56.1 miles of streets have been resurfaced. Another 5.9 miles have been reconstructed.

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