The city of Enid received $205 million in funding Tuesday from the state as part of its water pipeline project, the city’s most expensive project ever.

The 30-year loan for Enid’s Kaw Lake Water Supply Project is Oklahoma Water Resources Board’s largest-ever, according to a press release.

Through the approved contract with Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Enid Municipal Authority will use the funds of this loan in combination with three previously approved OWRB loans to fund the pipeline project.

About 70 miles of pipeline will transport around 10 million gallons of water a day from an intake structure constructed at Kaw Lake to a booster pump station in Enid.

The pipeline is expected to provide a guaranteed water source to the city of Enid for the next 40-50 years. Materials are set to last at least three decades, but longer with regular preventative maintenance and replacement pumps.

Construction of upgrades and improvements to the water system will be financed by Oklahoma Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).

Enid City Commission several weeks ago approved the project’s $243 million guaranteed maximum price from construction manager at-risk Garney Construction. Total budget on the project is set at about $317 million, the largest in city history.

Work on the project started in about 2015 with an initial study from the project’s eventual design engineer firm Garver.

Commissioners were set to vote to approve Garney’s actual construction contract with this approved GMP on Tuesday night, but the agenda item was pulled Monday because City Manager Jerald Gilbert said the contract wasn’t ready. They will vote at the next regular meeting Jan. 5, he said.

Enid residents are expected to save an estimated $9.32 million over the life of the 30-year loan compared to traditional financing, said Joe Freeman, chief of OWRB’s Financial Assistance Division. The DWSRF loan will be secured with a lien on the revenues of the city’s water, sewer and sanitation systems and a total 1-cent sales tax, according to a press release.

Payments on the loan will begin once the city draws from the fund, and payments on the loan with construction interest will begin once construction is completed, Gilbert said previously. Rate of interest on the loan will be 1.84%.

“This truly is a wonderful project for the citizens of Enid and surrounding areas, and Enid has now taken significant steps to make their community more water resilient,” Shellie Chard, DEQ Water Quality Division director, said in a press release. “This project serves as an example to other states and communities across the country of what agencies can do when they work together.”

The DWSRF program is administered by OWRB and DEQ with partial funding from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Ewald is copy editor and city/education reporter for the Enid News & Eagle.

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