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Willow Park

New wastewater plant bid accepted

Certificates of obligation to help with payment


After rejecting original bids and seeking more competitive proposals, the Willow Park City Council, at its Tuesday, Nov. 14 meeting, voted to award a new bid for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant to Gracon Construction, Inc. out of Mesquite. 

The amount approved was $14,547,435, which includes an additive alternate bid of $940,780.

The additive alternate bid includes the SPECO Screen and grit removal system, as well as

a road to the plant. The SPECO is a high-quality screen that conveys, screens, and de-waters the wastewater debris in municipal and industrial facilities.

An additive alternate bid is an amount to be added to or deducted from the base bid if there are some changes or adjustments not connected to the original bid.

The plant will be able to generate up to 750,000 gallons of water daily, based on current and projected future water usage because of growth expectations. That capacity was reduced from the 1 million gallons in the original bids, but the plant can be modified to accommodate such use should the need arise in the future.

"The [750,000] we believe will work just fine," said Derek Turner of Jacob and Martin Civil Engineers.

Current water usage in Willow Park is about 350,000 gallons per day.

Other tweaks in the search for new bids included taking out some landscaping and concrete paving, Turner noted. Whereas previous bids were coming in around $20 million, he said the highest bid this time was around $16.8 million.

The new plant is north of Interstate 20 near Crown Point Boulevard, not far from the site where Willow Park Baptist Church is building a new church. It’s only a few hundred yards from the current location on the north end of the new Crown Point Development.

The city and WPBC agreed to a land swap, with the church getting property where the current treatment plant sits for development.

The majority of the cost for construction of the plant will come from the anticipated release of about $11.5 million to the city from the Texas Water Development Board. To cover the rest, the council approved the issuance of certificates of obligation for around $4,000,000.

Turner noted that Gracon has constructed a dozen or more wastewater treatment plants throughout the Metroplex.

"They're a reputable contractor," he stated.


The council voted to allow the city to begin the annexation process of just under 11 acres of East Bankhead Highway into the territorial limits of Willow Park. This subsequently allowed for the beginning of the annexation of just over 31 acres of land owned by Dustin and Jayme Haney into its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ).

"As long as they touch Bankhead Highway - which their property does - they can be annexed into the city," City Manager Bryan Grimes said.

Planning and Development Director Toni Fisher said plans are to build a rollerskating rink on the land behind Fortified Fitness gym, which is at 9744 E. Bankhead Hwy.  

A total of three public hearings connected to the annexations are set for the Dec. 12 meeting.

Popular estimate

Per state statute, general law cities in Texas may certify their population is greater than 5,000 residents to expand their ETJ boundary to one mile. There are multiple ways to make this determination, including using water accounts as a base line, which is what the City of Willow Park used in creating its estimate of just under 8,500 residents.

The formula to certify population using water accounts is as follows:

Number of accounts - 3.5 residents per account, so 2,281 water accounts equals 7,983 residents.

The city also has 141 garbage only accounts, which is not reflective in this formula. When those accounts are factored in, the city could add an additional 493 residents to our population.

"Regardless, we are clearly above 5,000," Grimes said.

Weatherford Mountain Bike Club

Weatherford Mountain Bike Club (WMBC) President Larry Colvin has been working with the City of Willow Park for nearly three years to create a trail design. He is also the lead design engineer for Baird, Hampton & Brown and created the Willow Park Parks & Trails Master Plan Addendum, adopted by Council on Oct 10.

As the reality of the Willow Park Trails begins this winter, city officials feel a user agreement with the WMBC should be in place to assign it the responsibility to build and maintain the single-track hiking/biking trails. This will also indemnify (secure against legal liability) the city, just as with the Weatherford and Aledo trail systems.

The agreement is a three-year term. WMBC also maintains a $2 million commercial general liability insurance policy and the city will be listed on the WMBC’s certificate of liability insurance as a certificate holder.

Expressing thanks

Grimes expressed thanks to city staff and council members for allowing him to be absent from council meetings for the past several weeks. His son played football for McAnally Middle School this season the absences allowed Grimes to watch every game.

"You allowed me to be a dad, and I am so grateful," Grimes said emotionally.

Grimes singled out and praised Assistant City Manager Bill Funderburk for filling in for him at meetings during his absence. He then presented him with a Texas Rangers World Series Champions polo shirt, also apologizing for telling Funderburk repeatedly throughout the season the team would "let him down."

Funderburk, a longtime Rangers fan, was also celebrating his birthday.

Funderburk jokingly responded that maybe Grimes should listen to him more often as the two men hugged and the room was filled with applause.


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