Arp city leaders are taking steps to improve the city’s aging infrastructure, but the fix won’t be quick or easy, according to the town's mayor.

City council members agreed Monday to allocate $1.4 million to address issues ranging from aging streets to outdated infrastructure.

“We passed an ordinance to issue certificates of obligation,” Mayor Terry Lowry said Tuesday.

The measure means the city can afford to refurbish certain sections of decaying water and sewer lines and make the necessary related street repairs.

The city’s sloping terrain allows excess water to enter the sewer system, prompting an overflow situation, Lowry said.

Extra heavy rainfall last year aggravated the problem, the mayor said, triggering an investigation and fines from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The city is working with the state agency to create plans for addressing the problems that have been years in the making.

“It’s an old town,” the mayor said, citing origins that date back to the 1860s. “We have an old system.”

Additional measures may also be necessary to raise funds for the improvements, such as through rate hikes and sales tax measures.

Close to 1,000 people reside in the Smith County town, according to published counts of its population.

TWITTER: @TMT _ Jacque

 

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Jacque Hilburn-Simmons is an award-winning journalist who has been writing professionally for 30 years. She's a former police reporter who also wrote a book about the KFC murder. She shares stories about East Texas through her Behind the Wheel column.

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