Durant plans new water tower, receives $950,000 grant

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Durant received official confirmation Wednesday that they'll receive a $950,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration.

City officials will use the money to build a new water tower and upgrade water-system infrastructure. The water tower will be located on land Southeastern Oklahoma State University donated.

Ross Walkup, SOSU vice president of business affairs, said the tower will help with increased water pressure, and will help save money on future construction.

"What's happened in the past is that water flow is not up to the level that it will pass inspection," he said. "By building the water tower it will allow us not to have to put a pump every time we're renovating or building a new facility."

SOSU also contributed $500,000 to the future tower.

Ralph Houser, assistant city manager, said it will also help commercial growth.

"Most of the commercial businesses need a little higher than normal water pressure for their fire sprinkler systems, or fire suppression system," he said. "And that's precisely the intent of this water tower."

Jerry Tomlinson, Durant mayor, said water pressure and infrastructure has been a problem in the past.

"With our growth that we've experienced over the last 10 or 12 years, and the need for more water pressure, these water towers are the solution and the answer to this project," he said.

Tomlinson said receiving the grant is a big deal for Durant.

"It's a win-win for not only the city, the University, it's a win-win for the residents of Durant," he said.

City officials said the full cost of the water tower will be around $3 million.

Officials said it will be an almost two year project from start to finish.

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