Weatherford Democrat

Big Story AM

August 31, 2011

Getting tapped in

Aledo council awards bid for new water lines

WEATHERFORD — Long awaited improvements to the City of Aledo’s water system took a step forward last week when council members voted to award a construction bid for lines that may be carrying Fort Worth water to Aledo residents as early as next summer.

The council awarded the $1.4 million contract to low bidder Gin-Spen Inc., a Kennedale contractor, based on the recommendation of project engineers Freese and Nichols, who cited the firm’s favorable references in a letter to Public Works Director Gordon Smith.

Five companies submitted bids for the project; the highest bid was $1.8 million. Engineers originally estimated construction costs for the project at $1.4 million, but later upped their estimate to $1.7 million.

The longest of the three lines will transport water from Fort Worth’s elevated storage tank on Interstate 20 along FM 1187 to a city well east of Aledo High School, City Administrator Ken Pfeifer said. Other lines will tie in at Queen Street and around Aledo City Hall, he said.

The water lines are part of a $7.83 million project that also includes an elevated water storage tank and pump station. Currently, the city’s water comes from six wells.

The bid award is contingent on the review and approval of the Texas Water Development Board, which has provided the city with a low interest loan of $5.8 million through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.  

The review process should take about 30 days, Mayor Kit Marshall said, with construction beginning soon after that.

Water from Fort Worth could be blending with the city’s well water by next summer, Marshall said, even though the elevated storage tank may not be up.

Aledo officials have been wrestling with the issue of providing enough water to match Aledo’s future growth for some time, Marshall said.

In 2006, the council approved moving forward with Fort Worth for surface water after years of study, she said, ultimately deciding that tying into the water line was more cost-effective than drilling additional wells.

The yearly water rate increases that have followed the decision are “the cost of taking care of your residents,” she said.

Originally, officials were supposed to turn on the tap in 2009, Marshall said, but a number of required processes has delayed city action.

The slow start-up has not really affected the quantity of water for residents, she said.

“Overall, most people would say that they don’t have problems,” she said, “other than occasional low water pressure. We’ve had good management of our wells, with staff making modifications to take care of our needs.”

Marshall said the project will have a big ribbon cutting.

“This water project will meet the needs of both current and future residents as we build out Aledo in the future,” she said. “I’m really excited about it.”

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