The city of Denison is moving forward with plans for water projects that will help provide adequate water, including one of the city’s highest growth corridors.


The city council voted to take the first steps in pursuing $5.72 million in debt for water and sewer improvements this year that includes a new water line along West Loy Lake Road and improvements to the city’s elevated tower at North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field.


One of the largest pieces of this year’s projects will be the construction of the proposed “Katy Trail” water line that will provide water to areas along the city’s southern border. This project will see the construction of the new water main alongside the construction of new hiking and biking paths along the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad right of way.


“This is kind of a key water corridor because it serves southwest Denison where we are seeing growth,” City Manager Jud Rex said.


Currently, the area receives water services via two major water lines, but one of these mains uses aging infrastructure and is in need of replacement in the near future, Denison Public Works Director Jimmy Moon said Monday. This new water line will help provide a level of redundancy in the event that the other mains are taken offline, Moon said.


This will provide water service for Gateway Village and areas surrounding the Texoma Medical Center. The area as a whole has seen extensive growth that is not expected to subside soon, Moon said. Additionally, the hospital is one of the larger water customers for the city, he added.


Moon estimated that the project could take about 18 months to complete once construction starts. This would put the project along the same construction timeline as the initial phase of the trail project. Design for the project is about 90 percent complete, Rex said.


The city’s first steps toward the new water line and trail system started during the first council meeting of 2015, when the council agreed to purchase the former railroad right of way from Union Pacific. It was later that year that the project expanded to include the recreation trails that would eventually link to existing trails in Waterloo Lake Park.


“It won’t just be a water line, but also a place that can be used for walking, hiking and biking as well,” Rex said.


Rex said the city’s current plans call for an unimproved trail along the course of the water line as the city looks for funding sources for the trail portion of the project.


Another project that will be funded through this bond is the replacement of the city’s aging water tower outside of North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field. Current plans call for the tower to be relocated outside of the Federal Aviation Administration airspace and into a location that will better suit the city’s needs.


Rex said the project is still early on, but plans could include relocating the tower closer to Grayson College or replacing the existing GC tower with a higher capacity tank.


These and other projects represent the fifth and final year of scheduled capital improvements to the city’s water and sewer system, city officials said. These and other projects that have been approved over the past five years will be financed through staggered increases to the city’s water rate that have occurred each December over the course of the improvements.