- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
Members of Paris’ citizens advisory committee that will help prioritize the city’s long-term capital improvement projects had the first of at least three meetings designed to better educate themselves.
For an hour Thursday evening in the Paris City Council chambers, officials from Longview-based KSA Engineers talked to the committee about what they’ve determined about the state of the city’s streets and deteriorating wastewater and water infrastructure.
The city council contracted in November with KSA to design a 10-year capital improvement program focusing on the hundreds of miles of deteriorating water and sewer pipes.
“When you leave here tonight, you’re going to know enough to help you identify the priority projects,” KSA planning official Molly Waller of McKinney told committee members.
KSA engineer Stephen Dorman, the team leader for water lines, said the company’s research indicates that 128.8 miles of the city’s 184.2 miles of underground sewer lines and 129.4 miles of the city’s 174.5 miles of underground water lines need replacing with newer-technology PVC pipe.
KSA employees who drove the length of the city’s 172.3 miles of streets concluded that 51.7 miles are in excellent condition, 99.2 miles are in fair condition, and 21.4 miles are in poor to bad condition.
Of its streets, 156 miles (91 percent) have an asphalt surface, 11 miles (6 percent) have a concrete surface, and 5.3 miles (3 percent) have an oil or gravel surface, the committee was told.
“The 30 percent of the streets that are classified as excellent or good are pretty much things that won’t require any real maintenance in this 10-year CIP,” said KSA vice president Tracy Hicks of Tyler.
“Some of the good streets that are real high volume will probably have some recommendations for some chip seal at some point toward the end of the period,” he added.
“And then there are streets – asphalt streets in fair condition, which is the vast majority of your street system. Through the 10-year CIP, most of those are probably going to need some pretty serious maintenance, and probably half of those are going to need reconstruction,” Hicks said.
“In areas where we’ve identified water and sewer lines that need to be replaced, the street should be replaced concurrent with that as part of the bond package that’s out there,” he added.
“As you can see, a vast majority of the city is asphalt pavement, and the vast majority of that is in fair condition, which is a whole lot better than a whole lot of it being in terrible conditions,” Hicks said.
“A lot of the streets that are in poor or bad condition are like a block or two long, dead-end streets that have been there forever, that might not have two cars on it a day,” he added.
“In a perfect world, it would be great to rebuild them, but is it worth the public’s money to do that and not move that money to a street that might be in better condition that gets thousands of cars down it every day, or maybe is in front of a school?”
As KSA comes back with its rankings and grades on various projects, the input from the citizens’ committee will be very valuable, Hicks said.
“Although we think we’ve done a pretty accurate job, if we were not on a particular street when school let out, or we didn’t know that six blocks away there was a street that every bus in town comes through, you know, those kinds of things are good information and good feedback for us to get from y’all,” Hicks added.
Someone on the committee asked how Paris’ infrastructure compares with other cities where KSA has done studies.
“You’re right in the bowl with everybody,” Hicks said. “The only people that aren’t like you are bedroom communities around the metroplex that have been built in the last 15 years. We work for a lot of municipalities all over the state, and everybody is pretty much in the same boat.”
The city manager said an important thing to remember in the improvements that will be made is the savings it will mean to the city’s water and water treatment plants.
“All of this will make our water plant and sewer plant last longer,” Godwin said.
“Both our water plant and sewer plant are old, and right now we treat millions of gallons ofwater evdery year at our sewer plant. If we don’t have to treat rainwater (that seeps into the leaky sewer lines), maybe instead of lasting seven more years, it lasts 11 more,” the manager said.
“The same thing with the water plant. Right now, we’re treating water and pumping it all the way to town, and it’s pouring out in the ground where we have a leak. This will save us both maintenance costs and operating costs.”
Committee members, each appointed by a city council member, are:
All were present except for Jackson.
The citizens’ committee has two more meetings set – for March 20 and April 17.
“That’s all the meetings we have set up, but I think it will be hard to get it all done in three meetings,” Godwin said.
By CHARLES RICHARDS