By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Del City will receive about $3.5 million in COVID relief funding.
Mayor Floyd Eason said the city plans to use the funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to upgrade its water system and create outdoor meeting spaces.
“We looked at all the potential uses and the council made the decision that updating the water system was the number one concern,” said Mayor Floyd Eason.
Cities can only use ARPA funds for approved purposes. They include support medical health expenditures, replace lost public sector revenue, provide premium pay for essential works, and invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
All funds must be allocated by 2024 and spent by 2026.
Del City received about $1.8 million last year. The remainder of the federal money will be sent next year, Eason said.
The upgrades to the water system include replacing water clarifiers and installing electronic water meters.
The clarifiers are part of the pre-treatment process at the water plant.
“We have needed to upgrade them for some time and this money gives us the opportunity to do it,” Eason said. “Our end goal is better drinking water.”
New electronic water meters will allow the city to remotely check customer water usage and turn on and off water service at individual locations. Eason said they will also be able to set alerts if water usage spikes for individual customers, which could be a sign of a water line break.
Eason said the new system will save the city on labor and improve accuracy of readings. The city currently has employees go door to door checking water meter readings.
The water system upgrades are expected to cost about $3-4 million. Eason said the ARPA funds will cover the bulk of the expense with the city providing the rest of the costs.
The city plans to build new pavilions at local parks to provide more opportunities for outdoor gatherings and meetings. Eason said they are not sure the quantity or location for the pavilions.
Del City has received quotes for the water system upgrades and is in the process of seeking estimates for the pavilions.
The city council discussed uses of the ARPA funds during a special meeting on Jan. 13.