VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) — The City of Vernon is a step closer to making improvements to the nearly 70-year-old section of the water pipeline that the city relies on everyday.
“The waters lines, the water lines, man we’ve got to get those water lines,” Vernon resident Chano Maldonado said.
“You know water is critical for a city, this pipeline is our lifeline,” Public Works Director Darell Kennon said.
And in cities like Vernon, that’s not an exaggeration.
“When we have a leak, it’s a major ordeal, we have to have people come in and help us with that as well as use all of the people we have,” Kennon said.
“You could probably drive through town right now and find a water crew, a city water crew working on a leak because the ground shifts and the pipes are just so old,” Maldonado said.
But now, it’s looking like they’ll be able to secure a low-interest loan from the Texas Water Development Board for $12 million.
It’ll be used to fix a 70-year-old 8.5 mile stretch of the 24 inch, 16 mile long water pipeline, something residents, like Maldonado, know firsthand they need.
“[When I saw this news] I was like finally, finally,” Maldonado said.
Although it still needs commissioners’ approval and a letter of intent to hear more from the public, Kennon is already looking to how this can help everyone in Vernon, adding they will maintain water rates and won’t see an increase in taxes.
“We have to take care of it, we have to get it repaired so it’s in good working order for another 50 years,” Kennon said.
And keeping it working for another 50 years is crucial, considering they see about one to three leaks per year.
They can only store 3 million gallons if the pipeline is down and the city uses 2 million gallons per day, so one leak can cause major problems.
“It can be catastrophic,” Kennon said. “The next thing you know you have a blowout which we can’t afford, that’s our main source of water.”
But now with repairs on the horizon, citizens can only eagerly await these upgrades.
“It’s going to be awesome, it’s going to be awesome, I really think our water pressure is going to go up,” Maldonado said.
Striving to give everyone in Vernon one less thing to worry about in their daily lives.
Kennon added this project will hopefully get going in 2023 and will take a little over a year to get completed and since it’s such a low-interest loan from the state water board, the city will save $1.5 million over the course of the loan.