The Denison City council made a move to ensure that future water needs are met, on Monday, as it passed a measure that will start the initial planning stages for a new pumping station on Lake Texoma.

The Denison City council made a move to ensure that future water needs are met, on Monday, as it passed a measure that will start the initial planning stages for a new pumping station on Lake Texoma.


Denison’s water needs have traditionally been met by water from Lake Randell, with water supplemented from Lake Texoma. As the current pump in Lake Texoma nears the end of its lifetime after serving the city’s needs for 60 years, city officials are looking into the next stage of water development for the city. Public Works Director David Howerton estimated the station will cost the city between $8 to $8.5 million to build.


"We need to get started studying on it to see what it will cost," said Howerton, at the city council meeting.


The Council accepted a bid from Alan Plumber and Associates for engineering design services for the project and location scouting work. The Council agreed to pay $560,408 for the initial engineering services and $266,550 for additional services that may be needed along the survey and design process. The survey and design is expected to take two to three years to complete.


Alan Tucker of Alan Plumber said the design is "not overly challenging." Tucker said the primary goal for the new design will be to allow the new station to draw water from a altitude of 590 feet, as opposed to the 600 feet of the current station. As the current station has aged, large levels of silt has developed near the entry to the pump. Additionally, the current station was not designed to handle the current threat that is presented by zebra mussels. Tucker said it may be possible for the new station to be at the same location as the current facility, but there will be a survey of possible locations.


Howerton was optimistic about the project, expecting it to be in operation in five years. "This is a very exciting project that not everyone gets to do in their career," said Howerton.


In a separate action, the Denison City Council finalized the terms for the resolution of the tax abatement with Universal Health Services of Texoma, which manages the Texoma Medical Center. While the abatement agreement was set to expire in 2014, the mechanism to determine what taxes would be abated for the final year was not clear. The Council accepted the advice of Shawn Coker, chief appraiser of the Grayson County Appraisal District, and set the final approximate tax abatement to $4 million for 2014.