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City of Mart receives $17 million funding package to upgrade water plant, crumbling roads

Posted at 8:19 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 00:25:34-05

MART, TX — Big changes are coming to Mart. The City received a $17 million funding package to upgrade it's water plant and crumbling roads.

The package includes a $5 million grant and $12 million low-interest loan.

People in Mart say this has been a long time coming, and city officials say it's the biggest USDA grant in Texas history.

Christina Cummings lives in Mart and says roads are covered in potholes that are not only bad for her car, but also a huge safety issue.

"The road is just awful, and it just makes the whole town look bad. Nobody drives on the right side of the road, or the left side of the road cause everyone's kind of weaving through the pot holes," she said.

But that's not her only concern, she says the Mart's water main system is constantly failing.

"We would have no water. You'd have to boil everything or used bottled water, which is a real pain in the butt especially one time it happened on Thanksgiving," she said.

As of February 10, people have something to celebrate. The City of Mart was given a $13 million USDA grant.

"It's a game-changer as far as Mart goes," said Mart City Manager Kevin Schaffer.

Schaffer says the City has been pushing for this project for the last 6 years. On the list of projects is fixing the roads, which will be broken down into 5 different phases.

"I think what I'm most proud of is that we are doing this project with the USDA and we're not raising taxes as a result," said Schaffer.

The City is also investing in replacing their outdated water treatment plant as well as distribution lines and a new booster pump station.

USDA Project Contracts:

  • Contract #1 – Intake and Surface Water Treatment Plant - $8,702,681 to Schofield Construction
  • Contract #2 – HWY 164 Booster Pump Station - $1,646,502.25 to TTE
  • Contract #3 – Distribution System Improvements - $2,095,898.50 to Kieschnick General Contractors, Inc
  • Contract #4 – Transmission Main Replacement - $2,426,174.67 to Nelson Lewis, Inc.

"We're really excited for what this is going to do for the city," said Water System Improvement Project Manager Henry Witt III.

Witt says the new plant is expected to bring up to $200,000 in revenue a year by selling water wholesale to towns who deal with arsenic issues in their water.

"This has been happening for so long. A lot of folks, I don't think they believe what is actually gonna happen now," said Witt.

Work on the new projects is expected to begin in the next month or so.