The Denison City Council received an update from City Manager Robert Hanna on current capital improvement projects, including proposed updates to Forest Park, City Hall and the annex, and the water system that were discussed and proposed at a special City Council summit last month.

The Denison City Council received an update from City Manager Robert Hanna on current capital improvement projects, including proposed updates to Forest Park, City Hall and the annex, and the water system that were discussed and proposed at a special City Council summit last month.


Following up from the summit, the City Council received an update on the proposed changes to the water rate. Hanna proposed a water rate design study, which was mentioned at the recent summit, to get a clear vision of where water is allocated between residential, industrial and commercial usage and move for a conservation-based rate design. Hanna said he thinks this would be more cost effective than building additional water treatment plants in the future.


At the summit, Hanna estimated the study would cost about $40,000 to be done professionally, but believes now that the survey could be done for less. However, the Council remained hesitant about approving the study.


"Right now, this is not what we need," said Mayor Pro Tem David Spindle, while Mayor Jared Johnson and Council member Ken Brawley mirrored the concern.


The Council elected to follow its current rate structure, while examining the rates of each type of user for the purpose of balancing the rate.


Continuing the focus on the water system, Hanna gave a presentation on current plans to provide maintenance and upkeep to Denison’s aging water storage facilities. The Parkdale ground storage tank was budgeted for repairs, however Hanna reported that the estimates were "woefully" below what current estimates on the project would be, leaving the city unable to fund the project.


Instead, Hanna proposed the city use the funds allocated for the Parkdale rehabilitation for the second facility on the list: the Acheson elevated tower. He proposed the city instead focus on the Acheson facility, while also focusing on the Perrin Field water tower, which is expected to be under budget. Despite the setback with Parkdale, Hanna said he expects to have all of Denison’s water storage facilities rehabilitated within three years.


Following up on possible funding measures for road maintenance in the city, Hanna reported that the city could use Community Development Block Grant funds provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to finance road repairs.


Hanna outlined a plan where the city could borrow $1 million from HUD, while using $129,000 from it’s annual CDBG funds to finance the debt service. This would leave the city with a budget of $100,000 for emergency rehabilitation projects, and $80,000 for administration costs.


During the January summit, Hanna submitted a budget for the Forest Park project, which would use $157,500 from the park maintenance fund, and 115,000 from the rainy day fund to finance the project. During the Council meeting, however, the Council elected instead to withdraw the $115,000 from the budget of the police station renovation to finance the park project. This should not have any impact on the current progress in the renovation project, said Hanna.


The final project discussed during the session was the proposed upgrades to City Hall and its annex. Instead of a full overhaul of the facilities, the Council agreed to minor upgrades in paint, carpet, and furniture, while focusing its attention on parts of the facility the public sees. Hanna made mention of the ramps and hallways that are used by residents when accessing the permit department in the annex.


"Frankly, it is not a welcoming feeling," said Hanna


This however came at the cost of other upgrades, including proposed ADA compliance upgrades to the bathrooms within both facilities. Hanna said there currently are no plans for any bathroom upgrades at the facility.