Sherman saw so much rainfall in the spring of 2015 that it created problems on a number of city streets and the city qualified for funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for some of the repairs needed. However, now Sherman is planning to use those allocated FEMA funds to purchase a new patrol vehicle for the Sherman Police Department and an ambulance for Sherman Fire-Rescue.

“We had two projects that were approved by FEMA as a result of the heavy rains in the spring of 2015,” Director of Finance Mary Lawrence said. “Both of these projects we were unable to do. One was the Lake Street road failure. The second project was Kessler (Boulevard), and as you know, we abandoned that project.”

The vehicles will be purchased through FEMA’s Alternative Project Program, which will require the city contribute 25 percent in matchings funds for the vehicle. The Sherman City Council recently approved a request to allow the city to advertise for bids for the purchase of the new patrol vehicle and new ambulance.

Sherman’s new master thoroughfare plan will provide a through rode for Park Street, which will allow the abandonment of Lake Street following the May 2015 road failure there. City staff recommended the funds set aside for the Lake Street repair instead be put toward the purchase of a Chevy Tahoe patrol vehicle for Sherman Police.

“We’re abandoning that street and will extend Park Street instead,” Lawrence said. “So that freed up this money that FEMA had already allocated to us.”

The rainfall also caused a slope failure on a section of Post Oak Creek around the same time that resulted in a roadway collapse along Kessler Boulevard between North Woods Street and West Pecan Street. The city began efforts to address the problem in January last year, but work was delayed when the contractors ran into a new slope failure that occurred near West Pecan Street in February.

After the project experienced additional slope failures, the Sherman City Council approved a plan in August to buy the houses on that section of the road and condemn them. Once the houses have been demolished, the city plans to keep the land as green space, relocating the sewer line and just adding a sidewalk.

City staff recommended the FEMA funds originally set aside for that work be used for the purchase of an ambulance for the fire department.

“Both of these vehicles are ones that we would have replaced anyway in fiscal year 2018,” Lawrence said. “We just have a 25 percent match on these, so it’s a good deal to go ahead with the alternate project.”