The city of Willow Park will be publishing a notice to issue Certificates of Obligation not to exceed $6.5 million for the Fort Worth water project.
The approval came following a presentation by Halff Associates at Tuesday night’s city council meeting where it was revealed that the original project funding of $13.4 million would need to be increased to $19.9 million. Certificates of Obligation can be used by cities to fund construction, demolition or restoration of structures; purchase materials, supplies, equipment, machinery, buildings, land and rights of way; and pay for related professional services, according to the Texas Comptroller’s website. They are issued for terms of up to 40 years and are usually supported by property taxes or other local revenues.
“We started this critical project to get the city of Willow Park water back in 2016 and our main objective is to get your water by [next] summer so you can turn on the faucet and have safe and reliable water from the city of Fort Worth because of the tremendous amount of growth that y’all have been having here and to be able to get off the wells that you’re currently on,” Halff Associates Operations Manager Ben McGahey said. “In October of 2018, that’s when we were able to assist you in securing approximately $13.4 million in funding from the Texas Water Development Board, which $5.9 million of that was for the construction of said infrastructure.”
The project will provide Willow Park and Hudson Oaks with water from the city of Fort Worth and pipelines will be constructed to provide the cities with the water.
McGahey said it wasn’t until September of 2019 that Halff Associates went under contract with Willow Park to start on the design of the pipelines, the ground storage tanks and the metering stations.
Last week when submitting the 60% design plans for the pump station is when the funding issues were identified, McGahey said.
“I would add to that also that in the 2018 cost estimate, absolutely no engineering had been performed so it’s as the job progresses that we’re able to start nailing down the exact cost,” he said. “So that 2018 did not add any engineering associated with it.”
But Preston Dillard, Halff Associates project manager, said the main change with the funding came from the pump station component.
“I did have quite a few questions and [Halff Associates] were very gracious in going through and answering and providing quite a bit of documentation that satisfied my questions that we are where we need to be,” Place 4 Councilmember Lea Young said. “This is the engineering that we need to progress and this is what we need to get this project done.”
The motion to authorize publication notice of intention to issue Certificates of Obligation in an amount not to exceed $6.5 million was unanimously approved by the council.