ENID, Okla. — The city of Enid has secured $8 million in federal funding to aid in the rehabilitation of the Ames waterline and construction of the Kaw Lake water supply projects.

According to a press release, the 70-year-old Ames pipeline is at the “end of its design life” and in need of immediate attention. The Kaw Lake water supply project has been in the works for several years to shore up the city’s water supply.

City Manager Jerald Gilbert said this congressional appropriation is the first one in more than 20 years for Enid.

“The $8 million helps pay for these two different projects and provide funds that don’t have to come from other sources,” he said. “Therefore, instead of spending sales tax dollars or water revenue dollars — those monies can be spent on other projects.”

The federal money to offset costs of the projects was due in part to advocacy and support from retired U.S. Sen. James Inhofe and Rep. Frank Lucas, Gilbert said.

“It was a team effort, but I have to praise Congressman Lucas and his staff, Sen. Inhofe, Mike Cooper (executive director of Vance Development Authority) and, of course, my folks who helped get all the information in the system and answered all the questions,” Gilbert said.

According to the release, “Lucas said he understands the impact that meaningful spending and policy outcomes can have on the local level.”

“Whether it’s military value or resiliency projects that increase mission capabilities, Congressman Lucas has always supported Enid’s efforts to protect and enhance Vance AFB,” Cooper said in the release.

Each project will receive $4 million.

Gilbert said construction on the pipeline portion of the roughly $335 million Kaw Lake water supply project is complete, with January of next year slated to be when all construction is complete.

The federal funds, Gilbert said, will help offset some of the cost and cover any additional items needed.

“Four million dollars is much appreciated to help assist with the funding of the project,” he said.

The cost of the entire Ames waterline project is estimated to be in excess of $20 million and that it will be going out for bids later this year.

“But we’ll be breaking that cost down, starting with a much smaller, phase one portion,” Gilbert said, “and I don’t know how much that will cost, but I know this $4 million, and potentially, an additional ($2 million) more that will help pay for that initial phase needed to complete this important project.”

Enid City Commission, in November, approved submitting an application for $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act grant funding to the Oklahoma Water Resource Board to request funding assistance for a project to re-line a portion of the existing waterline transporting well water from the Ames/Drummond wellfields to the drinking water treatment plant.

If awarded, the city will be required to provide matching funds of up to $2 million, and funds are available from the EMA’s fund balance.

Article by: Kelci McKendrick – Enid News & Eagle 1.12.23

Photo by Billy Hefton