The Sherman City Council expanded the scope of work on Fallon Drive last month when it approved a nearly $85,000 change order to its contract with Vessels Construction. The contract will see water and sewer improvements to the Midway Industrial Park ahead of the opening of Modular Power Solutions new facility.

The change order will see Vessels complete paving and street work on the first 100 feet of the Fallon Drive extension. Initially this was expected to be constructed by the developer, but city officials said they were unable to reconcile the cost of this portion of the project.

“The developer was going to pay to get this little portion of the road done more quickly,” Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said.

The city of Sherman approved work on two separate improvement projects to Fallon Drive in 2019. In addition to the sewer and water extensions, the city also approved a 520-foot extension of the roadway to Dripping Springs, increasing access to MPS and other businesses along Fallon Drive.

With the ongoing work at MPS’s new 170,000-square-foot facility, the manufacturer wanted to expedite a portion of the improvements to that it would have quick access to its new site. As a part of initial agreements, MPS offered to improve the first segment early into the street and sewer improvements.

Historically, the city has paid for public infrastructure improvements or reimbursed developers for improvements to roadways and other infrastructure. However, the price that was submitted by the developer was ultimately significantly higher than bids and projections offered by Vessels.

As a cost saving move, the city instead moved that portion of the contract back to Vessels Construction.

“So, instead of reimbursing for this project, we will instead be paying the contractor who is doing the rest of the work to pave this small portion,” Strauch said. “From the city’s perspective, it is cost neutral and is really about who we are cutting the check to.”