Improvements to water system coming with plant construction

LIVINGSTON – Major improvements to the Corrigan municipal water system were approved Tuesday when the Polk County Commissioners Court awarded construction bids stemming from the location of a new RoyOMartin oriented strand board (OSB) plant near the city.

During their meeting the commissioners met with engineers and accepted bids on water plant improvements and water lines to connect the system with the northern boundary of the OSB plant.

Money for the work is coming from a Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) grant awarded to the county. According to County Judge Sydney Murphy, officials originally were focused on getting water to the new plant which is now under construction at a cost of about $280 million. When completed, it is expected to directly employ 160 workers and generate many more jobs in the logging, trucking and other related industries.

Murphy credits TDA officials with encouraging local officials to expand the scope of the grant to include improvements to the Corrigan water system that would not only benefit the RoyOMartin plant but all of the residents of Corrigan.

"When the grant was submitted, its purpose was both to economically benefit the area and improve the overall quality of water for the people of Corrigan," she said.

During Tuesday's meeting, commissioners accepted a bid of $470,490 from Uticor Corporation of Athens, Maine, in install a 250,000-gallon ground storage tank and a 10,000-gallon pressure tank to be located at the Corrigan West booster plant. Murphy noted the storage and pressure tanks would help solve many of the city's water issues and benefit all residents of Corrigan.

Also approved was a bid of $118,909 from James Riley Construction of Corrigan to install 3,300 linear feet of an eight-inch water distribution line from the Corrigan West booster plant to the OSB plant's property line. It was noted when the original grant was approved by TDA, the water line extended into the OSB plant's property but officials subsequently learned RoyOMartin would have to pay and arrange for the installation of any lines on their land.

As a result, the cost of the water line is well below what was included in the grant and engineers told commissioners they would be asking TDA to allow them to use the excess money to make improvements to the Corrigan sewer system.
Because the new OSB plant is located just outside the Corrigan city limits, the county has taken the lead to obtain funding to provide water and sewer service to the facility. They obtained a Texas Capital Fund Grant from TDA to cover the cost of the work.

Other business
During the meeting, commissioners:
-- Conducted a brief public hearing at which no citizen appeared to address the issue, and subsequently approved the proposed land swap between the county and GAH-5, LLC. In exchange for about one acre of land appraised at $5,190 located off the Old Woodville Road in Livingston, the county received about two acres of land appraised at $11,454 located off Highway 190 East in Livingston.
-- Rejected a request from Mann Eye Center regarding their lease of space in the county-owned Polk County Regional Health Center. Murphy explained the company was asking for a release connected to a financial loan it was seeking from Compass Bank. The judge said if approved, it would give the bank the right to sublease the office space without consulting the county should Mann Eye Center default on the loan.