Durant City Council met Tuesday for its regular monthly meeting. Mayor Jerry Tomlinson, Vice Mayor Tom Marcum and council members Jerry Polson, Bobby Story and Leon Sherrer voted to seek professional services proposals for drinking water well designs.
“Sometime in the next 10 years, we are looking at a water shortage,” said City Manager Jim Dunegan. “This is a step in the right direction. I really believe we need to step up and put five to six wells in the community to insure that we have adequate water in an emergency situation.”
Officials said five water wells would cost approximately $3 million, and that the wells could provide 400,000 to one million gallons of water per day.
“Not only is this good insurance, but it has the potential to supply quality drinking water,” Tomlinson said.
The city will now distribute proposal requests to firms with experience in designing large commercial drinking water wells.
Presently, Durant is in a Stage 1 Voluntary Water Conservation Period that ask citizens to voluntarily conserve water and to limit outside watering between midnight and noon every other day. The city is monitoring the situation daily.
In other water-related news, the Durant Water Treatment Plant received a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Health & Human Services.
According to a letter from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the award is due to the city water system’s consistent adjustment of the water fluoride content to the optimal range for oral health in 2010.
The letter states that by reducing the prevalence of dental cavities, community water fluoridation saves money for families and the health care system, plus improves the health status of the state.
“I don’t think they hand these out very often ... that’s quite an award and quite an honor,” Tomlinson said.
Council members also voted on the following agenda items:
— Approved a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Kevin Keener for a self-service storage facility at 2805 N. First Avenue; Marcum voted no, stating that he wanted a requirement for a masonry facade to be a part of the CUP requirement
— Voted to annex Thomas D. Williams’ property into the city limits per his request
— Approved an ordinance to de-annex 16.5 feet of roadways in the Cale Switch/Sunnyside Road areas so the county can pave designated roadways which are boundary lines between the city and county; the county can obtain funding, but was not able to pave the roadways because they were in the corporate city limits