Town of Duke receives grant to improve water system

(Source: Town of Duke)
(Source: Town of Duke)

DUKE, Ok (KSWO) -The small town of Duke in Jackson County will soon be making upgrades to its water system, all thanks to a nearly $100,000 dollar grant.

The Rural Energy American Program grant also known as REAP will replace a water line that is more than 30 years old. In the past three years the city applied for the grant and finally got the approval this year.

"In small towns that's one of the things we depend on is help from the outside for grants and things like that," said Mayor Hennessey.

There are close to 500 people in the town of Duke.Money is tight, and with this $98,000 dollar REAP grant they can finally focus on there infrastructure and upgrade an old water line.

"The line has been sitting in the ground for several years,we've had lots of breaks in the line and it's cost us a quite a bit to keep up that line," said Hennessey.

The 8 inch water line sits 7 miles outside of Duke heading towards the City of Altus.

"It's our main water source coming from the town of Altus and that's something we cant put off for another day. We also have gone in with American Gypsum the Sheetrock plant they get that water off of us too," said Hennessey.

The town of Duke has already completed the preliminary engineering portion for the project where they develop plans and survey the area. Next, The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has to approve the project before the bids are sent out.

"When bids are received and improved by the town we will start construction. The approval phase will take 60 to 90 days, and construction will take 90 to 120 days," said Brickley.

Consulting Engineer for the Town of Duke Gary Brickley said while they will have to shut the water off for this project, it wont affect resident as much in the area.

"We will lay the new line parallel to the old line get it and, install, pressure test Then we will kill the old line and make the transfer to the new line and put it into service, so it will be out of water for just a few hours as the contractor makes those connections," said Brickley.

Brickley said they hope to have the project complete within 6 months. Mayor Hennessey is hoping the new water source will bring in more people to build homes and businesses to the town of Duke.

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