St. Francis Water Project a Reality

Thursday, November 9, 2017
St. Francis Mayor Teressa Johnson (front-center) looks over the paperwork for the USDA Rural Development funding for the city's water project with city clerk Brad Deckard (left-front) and Justin Ladd with USDA-Rural Development (front-right). Also on hand were other representatives of the city and the firms involved in the effort.
TD photo/Tim Blair

Following more than a year of work, the City of St. Francis hosted a pre-construction and closing meeting on Monday, Nov. 6, to finalize on a grant and bond. The funds will be used to replace the aged water system in the community, with work beginning immediately.

“We've been working on this for over a year,” Mayor Teressa Johnson said. “We're getting a USDA Rural Development Grant of approximately $1.01 million, and the bond is for $327,000. The funds will be used to build a new water system, consisting of a new water tower, pumphouse and chlorination building, water lines and fire hydrants.”

The need for the upgrade has been evident for many years, as the old water system has experienced a number of issues.

“The old water tower has been in use since the 1950s and our records indicate it was used when the town acquired it,” she added.

The engineering firm for the project is Horner-Shifrin, of Poplar Bluff. The water tank construction is being handled by Gerard Tank, Concordia, Kan., and the waterline, pumphouse and other construction will be completed by Carl Baldwin Construction of Wynne.

Representatives of the firms were in attendance at Monday's closing along with Johnson, city clerk Brad Deckard, water secretary Carol Hayeslip, water system supervisor Bradley Scheffler and representatives of USDA-Rural Development.

“They've already unloaded some of the new pipes over by the old fire station, so we expect work to get underway as soon as possible,” Johnson added.

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