As a part of a special retreat on Tuesday, the Denison City Council discussed infrastructure and city facility upgrades within the city for the next several years. Included in the list of projects are $3.3 million in roadway improvements and repairs and nearly $15 million in water utility upgrades through 2019.

As a part of a special retreat on Tuesday, the Denison City Council discussed infrastructure and city facility upgrades within the city for the next several years. Included in the list of projects are $3.3 million in roadway improvements and repairs and nearly $15 million in water utility upgrades through 2019.


The water projects include water main upgrades, which would increase the size of pipes throughout the system, from 4-inch pipes to 8-inch pipes, and even larger pipes on major lines. The project also includes the $8 million Lake Texoma pump station, which would add 3 million gallons to the capacity of the water system.


Within the plans, City Manager Robert Hanna pinpointed ways the city could save funding, including renovations to the elevated water tower located at the North Texas Regional Airport-Perrin Field, which would cost $1.3 million to replace.


The proposed budget for the water system includes $4.5 million for automated meter reading, which Hanna said would help ensure that the water is effectively and correctly being allocated and charged for. Hanna said this was to ensure that there is no lost revenue due to miscalculations by aging water meters.


The project is expected to be paid through a bond, which would be paid back through changes to the water rate. The Council came to debate on possible changes to the rate, including the possibility of changing from a base rate to a variable rate system, and the costs involved with evaluating the water system use and allocation.


Hanna outlined plans for general roadway improvements, upgrades and repairs throughout the city’s roads between 2015 and 2019. The city plans on upgrading its failing roads that received a D-grade rating, which are most prevalent in the east and north parts of town, said Hanna. Hanna said using up to $275,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding each year from Department of Housing and Urban Development for road projects in low- to moderate-income areas might be possible.


The Council also discussed plans to renovate and expand the city’s aging facilities, particularly its police station and City Hall. The police station renovation, which is currently planned to be a staged project expected to extend from 2014 to 2021, will cost the city $1.4 million, and will be paid through its general fund, said Hanna.


Hanna said that the city could likely save money by completing the project at once instead of phasing it, citing cost creep and costs associated with phasing. The city has $323,000 in funding for the station for 2014, but Hanna said the city could expect $100,000 in savings for the year on the project.


"We think there is a better value to the taxpayers," said Hanna, describing the possibility of completing the project at once.


The Council discussed the possibility of using the savings from the project to help fund the Forest Park restoration and construction.


Lastly, the Council discussed possible renovations to the City Hall and its annex. Hanna estimated that renovations and repairs to the building would cost $950,000. The changes would add more offices and an elevator and other upgrades to bring the facility into ADA compliance.


The Council remained largely against the proposed project, with councilor Matt Hanley commenting that it was "more about comfort than accessibility." The Council discussed alternatives, including concentrating its focus on the annex. The Council decided it would be hard to justify this project with the other costly projects currently planned and that the best alternative would be to consider a new facility in the next five to seven years after other projects.