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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Plans progress for Wes Watkins project, Gordon Cooper widening

  • The city of Tecumseh continues to make progress on two ongoing infrastructure projects — one that will secure another water source for residents of the city and another to provide a wider, new roadway for drivers between Tecumseh and Shawnee.
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  • The city of Tecumseh continues to make progress on two ongoing infrastructure projects — one that will secure another water source for residents of the city and another to provide a wider, new roadway for drivers between Tecumseh and Shawnee.
    City Manager Jimmy Stokes said Wednesday that all easements for the Gordon Cooper widening project have been secured, paving the way for the next phase.
    Stokes said the next phase will involve moving utilities in the area.
    Actual construction to widen the roadway isn’t expected to begin for a few more months, Stokes said.
    The plan is widen to four lanes a mile-long stretch of Gordon Cooper Drive between Bob Crouch Drive and Benson Park Road.
    Concerning the Wes Watkins project, which involves the city constructing water lines from the reservoir in McLoud to Tecumseh’s water treatment plant.
    The city, because of the drought and low water levels at Tecumseh Lake, has been purchasing Shawnee’s water through the Pottawatomie County Development Authority to provide water to Tecumseh residents.
    With an investment years ago to secure a share of water rights in Wes Watkins, the city is preparing to tap into that supply for the city’s water use, but need to install water lines first.
    The nine-mile raw water line project will begin at the reservoir in McLoud and bring water to the city’s treatment plant. The city has secured a $3.8 million loan for the water lines and for further improvements at the water treatment plant.
    Last month, Stokes said easements had been obtained from all but two of 19 property owners affected by the water line route.
    For the remaining two, Stokes said the city has filed condemnation procedures as they request eminent domain in order to install that line, with one of those property owners asking for an extension to review eminent domain policies.
    The court has appointed county commissioners to appraise a fair price for use of the land, Stokes said.
    Stokes still anticipates permits could be issued for the project to begin in May or June. It’s estimated it could take as much as six months for the water line project to be completed.
    Watch for updates.
     
     
     

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