Van Alstyne recently approved water bonds secured through the Greater Texoma Utility Authority to complete capital improvements at its wastewater treatment plant.

The city will contribute $37,920.18 of its own funds toward a project that carries a total cost of $614,000. GTUA entered into a repayment contract with Van Alstyne to issue the bonds on the city’s behalf for the remaining $576,079.82.

GTUA General Manager Drew Satterwhite said the project would ultimately save Van Alstyne money on its wastewater treatment operations by reducing the cost to remove solid waste.

“The city can now dewater its sludge in-house and get it out to the landfill,” Satterwhite said. “It will ultimately save the city money. The new equipment will allow them to recover more water from their solid waste to lighten the load going to the landfill.”

Satterwhite said the project is a continuation of the work Van Alstyne has been doing with GTUA to improve the city’s wastewater treatment facility over the last few years. He said GTUA originally helped the city secure $1.7 million in funding in 2014 for the improvements to the facility. The first phase has been completed and now Van Alstyne wants to move forward with the next phase. The previous project was to install an improved water main at the plant.

The new project will also address some general maintenance needs, updating some of the valves and pumps along the way.

The repayment agreement will ensure the funds will be repaid using the city’s revenue from its water service. The Van Alstyne City Council approved its side of the agreement at its April 9 meeting.

The contract will be awarded to Fryer Construction Company for a total cost of $614,000.

Van Alstyne City Engineer Bob Johnson said Fryer was the only contractor who put in a bid. He said the city liked Fryer because he had previously worked on a project at the plant and knew it well.

“We looked around to see who else was bidding,” Johnson said. “Contractors were all so busy, we had no assurance of getting another bid. Even if we did, we didn’t have any assurance it would be any better. We felt we had a good chance with Fryer because he has so much knowledge of the facility. We felt it would be our best bet to get the price to be where we could afford it.”

Satterwhite said the construction of the project should begin within the next couple of months.