Sherman Director of Utilities Mark Gibson brought a motion on Monday to continue complicated well repair projects before the City Council at the Council’s regular meeting.

Sherman Director of Utilities Mark Gibson brought a motion on Monday to continue complicated well repair projects before the City Council at the Council’s regular meeting.


The motion asked the Council to approve the unexpected continuation of routine repair projects on three of the city’s water wells. Gibson said that his department typically does similar repairs and replacement of parts on the city’s 24 water wells at a rate of two to three wells per year.


These three particular wells became problematic when the contractor hired by the city discovered unexpected issues with the well’s infrastructure, Gibson said. He said the wells have problems with "screens, and one of the wells has inflow problems."


Gibson asked for the Council to approve the project extension under an emergency designation. Gibson said there are several reasons the emergency designation was necessary: "No. 1, on Jan. 13, the pipeline from the wastewater treatment plant to Lake Texoma is going to go down for two weeks.


During that two-week period, we’re going to be completely dependent on our well water. We’re hoping with this emergency designation to at least get one of the wells back up and running. If possible, we want to get two or three, but realistically we think we can probably get one."


Gibson said if the Council didn’t approve the emergency designation, the city would have to, once again, open the project for competitive bids from contractors. According to Gibson, working with two different contractors on the same project raises issues about the warranties on the parts used in the repairs.


Gibson said the contractor originally hired to do the project would not honor the warranties on the parts used in the well if a different contractor handled the installation. Gibson also indicated that bringing the project up for competitive bidding again would extend his department’s time frame for the project considerably.


"The third problem is, future problems with the wells," Gibson said. "If one contractor does part of it and another one does another part, if there’s a problem later on, we’re going to be ones holding the bag."


Gibson told the Council that the project was still under budget even with the unexpected extension. Gibson later said the contractor has agreed to a payment for the continued work that will allow the utilities department to finish the project without requesting a change to the project’s budget from the Council.


The Council passed Gibson’s request unanimously. Gibson said there is no definite timeline for the extended project’s completion, but he indicated at the meeting that he believes at least one of the wells could be functioning again by January.