The Duncan Banner


February 17, 2012

Council slows up waterline project

DUNCAN — Although it’s a task that must be accomplished, the Osage Road water main project will have to wait a bit longer.

That’s what the Duncan City Council decided during this week’s regular meeting, when council members tabled an agenda item until the Feb. 28 regular meeting, despite having already received bids for the project.

The project began as part of remedial efforts by Halliburton Inc. to deal with perchlorate that has gotten into several water wells in an are of north Duncan and Stephens County. The toxic chemical was released into the groundwater system during a missile disposal project Halliburton was performing for the U.S. Department of Defense over the course of three decades.

The remedial plan called for Halliburton cover the cost of the city installing temporary water lines for properties in the afflicted area. The next step is for the City of Duncan to construct permanent water lines, which was why the council went out for bids.

However, when addressing the agenda item at this week’s meeting, City Manager Jim Frieda said, “I recommend we withdraw this item from this evening’s discussion. It has nothing to do with the bids.”

Frieda said the project is extensive and the city is working to make sure everything is done correctly. Frieda said once the permanent lines are in place, the water will be supplied by Waurika Lake.

He noted it’s important to make sure water quality is maintained in all areas, despite the additional water mains. “Because of the work we’re doing with DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality), we will follow DEQ standards. They know it’s a city project.”

Frieda said the overall project is important and making sure everything is done correctly remains one of the city’s primary focuses.

“We’re not asking you to accept the bids,” Frieda told the councilmen. “There should be no impact on the project.”

Scott Vaughn, public works director, said four bids were received for the project. “We did receive a lot of interest in this project,” he noted. “We did allow the bidders to bid items individually or the bids together. They all chose to bid the items individually.

“We do think they’re favorable bid prices.”

He said DEQ has been instrumental in the project since the beginning. “DEQ is heavily involved in the project, and they will continue to be,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn also said one of the main objectives is to ensure everyone is on the same page. He said the project is a design/build project, and it’s important bidders know what they’re bidding on.

When the project comes to fruition, the city will be reimbursed for the project costs through an escrow account established by Halliburton.

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