Kaw Lake pipeline land acquisition continues

City of Enid

ENID, Okla. — Enid city commissioners heard an update on the Kaw Lake water project during a study session Tuesday night.

The third phase of the pipeline project is well underway, according to project manager Michael Graves. This phase is largely focused on acquiring land between Kaw Lake and Enid where the pipeline eventually will be constructed.

The distance between Kaw Lake and a planned water treatment plant to be built on the west side of Enid is 70 miles.

According to Graves, 60% of the landowners in the pipeline’s footprint have, at the very least, been contacted about selling impacted property, and offers still are being prepared for the other 40%.

Work is also ongoing to locate any utilities in the path of the pipeline, both public and private.

The search for a contractor to construct the 70-mile line is nearing completion and has narrowed down to four possible choices. A final selection will likely be made in late July, Graves said.

Graves also shared some projections during the study session, showing how recent flood levels at Kaw Lake would affect the pipeline and its facilities, had it already been in place on site.

Despite the extreme rainfall and surging waterline, the Kaw Lake facilities would have been untouched, and most importantly, remaining operational.

The fourth phase of the project, during which construction will begin, is expected to start in September 2020.

The subject of water came up again during the regular meeting directly following the study session.

Commissioners approved a $124,000 contract to buy the water rights from an individual who had concurrent rights, alongside the city, at a particular groundwater well.

The Ames No. 6 well can produce 500 to 1,000 gallons of water per minute, said Lou Mintz, director of public utilities.

“There was a dispute in the recent past over part of those water rights,” City Manager Jerald Gilbert said. “We settled with the person that had the claim for $650,000 for 187 acres of water rights at that time.”

The city owned the well, but not the rights to all of the water it tapped into, Gilbert said. After this $124,000 purchase, the city will have the water rights over every drop pulled from Ames No. 6.

Additionally, commissioners approved a number of construction easements, contracts and change orders for a total cost of $3,437,958.

Two of the most expensive agenda items were change orders. A $191,000 change order for a Luckinbill Inc. sewer repair project, and $235,709 with Cimarron Construction Co. for a Broadway waterline relocation project.

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Willetts is education reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. He can be reached at mwilletts@enidnews.com.

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