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Cottonwood Shores continues with water plant improvements

Cottonwood Shores continues with water plant improvements

Insulating exposed pipes at the Cottonwood Shores water system is complete, a crucial step while officials move toward buying a power generator for the water plant. Courtesy photo

The Cottonwood Shores City Council approved a $20,000 agreement with Kallman Engineering for the design, bid package, and inspection of an emergency backup generator for the city’s water plant. The council approved the contract during its regular meeting Thursday, Jan. 20. 

The recommendation to approve the contract was “reluctantly” made by City Administrator J.C. Hughes. The reason for his reluctance, he said, is because city staff have already located a generator for the plant at BuyBoard, a cooperative that meets state of Texas buying requirements. The cost of the generator, which is up for bid, is $195,781.

But since Cottonwood Shores intends to use money it received from the American Rescue Plan, which is a federal program, grant writers advised Cottonwood Shores officials to hire an engineering firm whose task is to ensure federal guidelines are met, including the foundation and electrical at the plant. 

“If it doesn’t comply with federal guidelines and federal requirements, we could be required to pay it back,” Hughes said. “For six months, grant writers attended conferences asking if we can buy from BuyBoard or HGACBuy. They were told to be leery, to be careful, because if you get audited, you might have to pay it back.”

The city already knows what it needs and has the site.  

“With the federal government, it’s much more complicated,” Hughes said. “The engineers have to address more, they have to cover all the requirements.” 

Cottonwood Shores is allocated $304,033.36 from the American Rescue Plan. The city already received $152,000 last summer. The rest is expected soon, Hughes said, and will go toward buying a 150-kilowatt generator for lift station No. 5. Construction on that lift station is projected to begin in late March. Bid openings are set for Jan. 27. A recommendation to award that contract to the council is expected in February. 

jfierro@thepicayune.com