City breaks ground on plant expansion
“It was a really important event in the city of Bullard,” said Mayor Pam Frederick. “We worked so hard in the different phases and had some interference with having to satisfy the (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), and everything. All that took so much time that it’s almost surreal that that hole was there and we were breaking ground.”
The groundbreaking was the culmination of a $2 million project aimed at expanding the wastewater processing capacity for the city.
“(The groundbreaking) was not the biggest thing to ever happen in the city, but it is the final phase in the biggest thing, being infrastructure improvements,” Frederick said.
Bullard spent several years at the capacity of the amount of water it processing per day. The expansion of the plant will effectively double the capacity of water the city can process, returning the city to compliance.
The city borrowed money to fund the expansion in May of 2007 after roughly a year of planning and research.
In addition to the mayor, City Manager Larry Morgan was present at the groundbreaking, as well as council members Jay Abercrombie and Shirley Coe, City Engineer Brian Capps, BEDCO Treasurer Lindsey Bradley, Finance Director Brent Stephenson, Utilities Director David Hortman, and former mayors Teresa Adams-Wilks and A.W. Hines. All were honored with awards for their participation in the project.
“That was really important to me that mayors that had a part in it get an invitation,” Frederick said. “A.W. (Hines) was the one, even as a councilman, that had the knowledge about infrastructure to get the project moving. We all bring different types of knowledge as council members and mayors, and his was in infrastructure.”
“The same goes for Teresa (Adams-Wilks),” Frederick said. “She had to step in and help manage and did a great job in her time, but the project kept getting pushed back. I think when a project takes this long to complete, those people still are a part of getting to the last step. It is a victory not only for the ones currently serving in city government, but for all of us.”
“It’s going to be an expensive project and there is a big job ahead of us to get the streets in good condition,” she said. “But that’s the good thing about our council, that we see down the road and we will continue to thrive.”
The city battled several entities when attempting to move forward with the expansion including two different environmental groups, as well as the TCEQ, including changes that had to be made to the construction plans in order to meet standards. Bullard, at one time, faced litigation from the two environmental groups, citing effluent into bodies of water down the river the plant drains into.
“We got our permit and are now out of the (litigation) equation,” Frederick said. “The current litigations no longer involve us. TCEQ found that we were well within their guidelines. We were at the point where we had to do something. The plant was at capacity. We did the research and found the most efficient and cost-effective way to address those concerns.”