On March 27, City Manager David Casteel reported to City Council that a bid is being finalized for Phase 1A of the city's water plant improvement project. 

The city's engineer on the project is currently looking through the bid to make sure everything is in order, and Casteel hopes the bid gets approved at the council's next meeting on April 10.  

The announcement came at former City Manager Larry Field's last City Council meeting. Fields was instrumental in the original creation and construction of the water plant in 1984. 

“One of Larry's things he said he wanted to do before he retired was to get a contract on the water plant,” said Casteel at the meeting. “Larry willed it to be.”

Gracon Construction of Mesquite submitted the bid under consideration for the amount of $9,839,314, almost $1 million under the $10.6 million figure initially projected.  

“Our engineer reports that he's worked with them [Gracon] before. They did a project out of Wichita Falls on the water plant, and he was very pleased with their work,” Casteel said. 

If the bid is approved on April 10, Casteel hopes construction on the plant can begin as soon as May, marking a major milestone in the water improvement plan initiated nearly two years ago by the city council. Engineers have estimated this phase should take 600 days to complete. 

Phase 1A will add new high-service pumps, a new electrical control system, storage space for chemicals and new filters with the ultimate goal of increasing the plant's capacity from 6 million to 15 million gallons per day.

Read the entire story in Saturday's Graham Leader