By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
EL RENO – A rural water authority will supply water service to the new Canadian County fairgrounds’ site, according to a proposed agreement signed this week by county officials.
The Canadian County Public Facilities Authority (CCPFA), comprised of the three county commissioners, has voted 3-0 to approve a “water supply contract” between the CCPFA and the Canadian County Water Authority (CCWA). Both authorities are public trusts.
The CCWA, also known as the Banner rural water district, will formally consider the water supply contract at its Thursday meeting. CCPFA Trustee Jack Stewart will present the draft agreement to CCWA trustees.
The estimated cost of a proposed waterline extension won’t be known under the water authority’s engineer develops plans and specifications.
“Based on ‘comps’ from the engineering firm on similar projects, it should be less than $500,000,” said Stewart, the District 3 county commissioner.
The rural water authority will “promptly engage an engineering firm of its choosing to develop plans and specifications” to construct a 12-inch water main extension to supply water flow (including fire flow and fire protection water service), according to the proposed contract.
Under the agreement, the water line will be extended two miles from the CCWA’s current infrastructure at Reno and Alfadale Road to the new Canadian County fairgrounds’ property at Jensen and Alfadale Road near El Reno.
The draft agreement indicates CCPFA will reimburse the CCWA for the engineering costs and be responsible for all costs of the waterline extension project.
Construction is underway on the estimated $15.8 million Canadian County fairgrounds and expo center, which is being built on a 50-acre site just south of Interstate 40.
The construction manager, Lingo Construction, anticipates the project will be finished in time for the August 2021 Canadian County Fair.
RULES AND REGS
CCPFA attorney Gabe Bass explained the water authority’s rules and regulations for any customer who wants to build a water line extension and become part of CCWA’s system.
“The customer pays for the installation of the extension and their rules require the customer to be responsible for the cost of maintenance for the first year,” Bass said. “After the first year, the water authority takes over responsibility to maintain the line.”
Upon completion of the waterline extension, the project would become CCWA property.
The rural water authority, with help from its engineering firm, has adopted a formula that would allow the CCPFA to recover “as much as possible” of its capital investment to install the two-mile waterline extension, Bass explained.
The CCWA would charge a fee to any new customer that wants to “tie-in” to the line, which would then be passed through and paid to the CCPFA.
“It is unknown, at this point, how much of the cost this body would recover,” Bass advised CCPFA trustees. “It just depends on who ties in.”
An earlier agreement approved in April 2019 between the El Reno Water Authority (ERWA) and CCWA has been deemed moot.
That agreement would have enabled the ERWA to deliver water to the new county fairgrounds’ site through a CCWA meter.
“Canadian County has exclusive rights to sell water in this district,” Bass said. “That was another structure that was explored that was going to require El Reno to put in the infrastructure to bring the water to the delivery point.”
However, El Reno’s water authority now “lacks the financial resources and/or the willingness to construct” the infrastructure “within a reasonable amount of time” to provide the amount of water required for planned operations at the future fairgrounds’ site, according to the contract approved July 27 by CCPFA trustees.