The Bellmead City Council took another step Tuesday toward meeting Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requirements for its water system.

The city council approved a $627,000 contract with M.K. Painting Inc. to perform maintenance on three city-owned ground and elevated water storage tanks at Barlow Street, Concord Road and Meyers Lane.

The city was already analyzing its systems when it received notice from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality about needed improvements, City Manager Bo Thomas said.

One at a time, the contractor will lower the water level in the storage tanks, sandblast the interior, then coat the inside and outside with a specialty paint.

City staff originally expected the nine- to 12-month project to cost about $1.3 million, Thomas said. The more work that can be done during winter months the better, since water demand is not as high as it is in the summer, Thomas said.

The maintenance should be performed every seven or eight years, Thomas said. He doesn’t know how long it has been since the work was done on Bellmead's storage tanks, he said.

The only water storage tank in good condition was built in 2009 on Research Boulevard.

The water storage tank on Parish Street will not receive work, but plans are in the works to replace it, Thomas said. In April, the council had BSP Engineers design a new elevated water tower on Parrish Street that would hold more water and sit higher than the tank it will replace.

The existing tower has been in place since the city’s incorporation in 1954. The new tank will hold 500,000 gallons, up from 250,000 for the existing structure. It also will simplify the city’s water system because it will sit 20 feet higher, allowing it to function with other existing structures.

Economic development grants

The city council also gave final approval Tuesday for a $20,000 grant from the Bellmead Economic Development Corp.'s special project program. The money will go toward improvements to the open space in front of the Bellmead Municipal Court Building, which sits adjacent to City Hall. Plans are to add seating, a memorial and a water display. A year ago, the council awarded $10,000 for the project.

Mayor Doss Youngblood voted against the measure last year and also voted against the new request.

“I think the city needs parking instead of a fountain, myself,” Youngblood said.

Mayor Pro Tem Mark W. Pace also voted against funding the project.

The council also gave final approval for a $75,000 economic development grant for a gas utility line at Research Drive and Roller Way for Built Wright Construction.

Thomas said the company is building a 10,000-square-foot retail center and has secured one tenant that needs a natural gas service line to operate.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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