The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

October 12, 2012

No development without water, sewer

Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — The lands along the Monty Stratton corridor and at the still-under-construction roadway’s intersection with Interstate 30 are expected to be prime locations for future economic development in Greenville.

But Director of Public Works Massoud Ebrahim explained there is just one problem.

“This area doesn’t have any water,” Ebrahim said, as he briefed the Greenville City Council this week on the need to allocate funds to pay for designs for water line improvements and a lift station along the parkway.

Ebrahim said the Monty Stratton Parkway is being built between Interstate 30 and Paris Junior College..

“This project is scheduled to be completed by December of this year,” Ebrahim said, adding there is a need for approximately 6,300 linear feet of 12-inch water distribution main line, to provide water to any development which may intend to locate in the region.

Pacheco Koch has proposed designing the project for $36,251.

“This is going to take about six to nine months,” Ebrahim said. “If there is any project, or any development, we can go to construction at that time.”

The placement of the water line, whenever it is needed, would cost a lot more.

“The actual cost could be $300,000 to $400,000,” Ebrahim said. “It could be in that range.”

“We are trying to position ourselves ... so that we are not waiting six to nine months for design work and then getting into construction,” noted City Manager Steven Alexander.

The Council approved a budget amendment for the project by unanimous vote.

Ebrahim also asked the Council to consider entering into a $94,830 contract with Freese and Nichols, Inc. for the preliminary design of a 1 million gallon per day regional lift station to meet the potential for economic development in the area.

Ebrahim explained that in 1998, Greenville annexed thousands of acres of land north and south of the interstate corridor and around Monty Stratton.

“At that time we looked at how to service this area,” Ebrahim said.

There was a discussion on building a new wastewater treatment plant in the region, which was later dropped when a decision was made in 2007 to build next to the existing plant.

But Ebrahim said the city still needs to address the area’s growing wastewater demand.

“The future is here,” Ebrahim said. “We do not have any sanitary sewer available to serve that area.”

Ebrahim said the contract with Freese and Nichols would be for a “very preliminary stage” and that the actual cost of the design of the lift station would be closer to $500,000.

The project would require utility easement for approximately 20,000 feet of force main, as well as utility easement/right-of-way for major sanitary sewer trunk lines.

“It will take 16 to 24 months to go through design approval and get shovel-ready,” Ebrahim said, estimating the lift station would cost up to $6 million to build.

“There is two years before we ever get to construction,” Ebrahim said. “You are talking about a good three years before you can tell someone yes in that area for development.”

In other words, he stressed that even if a major project wanted to build in the area tomorrow, they could not, due a lack of water and sewer treatment.

“If you have a developer wanting to build there and you tell them they won’t be served for another three years, you know what they are going to say,” Ebrahim said. “You either do this or build another sewer treatment plant.”

The Council voted unanimously to approve the contract with Freese and Nichols.