The Brenham City Council approved financing for a water line repair project at Lake Somerville at its meeting today (Thursday).

City Manager James Fisher gives an update to the Brenham City Council Thursday about the city's ongoing COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

The council approved a $5 million advancing line of credit from Bank of Brenham for interim financing for the raw water intake repair project at the lake.  The infrastructure suffered heavy damage during the May 2016 flooding event.

On February 13th, the city received a letter from FEMA in support of the competitive bid process and the higher competitive bid amounts compared to the engineer’s estimate of probable costs.  On February 20th, the city awarded the construction bid to Lindsey Construction for $4,999,991.

The project, according to Assistant City Manager of Public Services and Utilities Donald Reese, will consist of reconstructing the service road that leads from the lake road down to the pump pad.  Reese said a concrete road and bridge structure will be put where the service road was previously located, before it was washed away during the floods.

Reese said the project will also involve rebuilding the pump pad, which shifted during the storms.  He said the pad, which supports the pumps, will be re-poured and leveled out.  Finally, Reese said the project will include rebuilding the staircase down to the water where the intake structure is located.

The city is responsible for 25 percent of the final construction cost, and according to City Manager James Fisher, needs to spend its portion of the project first before it qualifies for reimbursement. The city is awaiting approval from FEMA for a cost increase from the amended subgrant amount of $1.17 million to the original bid award.

Fisher said the city still has to jump through a few more hoops with FEMA before it can receive the funds it needs for the project.



The loan from Bank of Brenham, which is being set up as an advancing line of credit for one year, will carry an interest rate of 2.6 percent with interest payable monthly.  If needed, the bank is willing to renew the loan for an additional one year period, subject to satisfactory performance on the initial loan over the next year.

In his COVID-19 update to the council, Fisher said that Brenham City Hall is still closed to the public, but is available by appointment.  He said he had anticipated reopening the building this month, but will “keep it like it is for a while”.  He added that the city still has positive cases in City Hall employees and/or their families.  He said the city is still trying to navigate through the situation, but believes the city has not “missed a beat” in taking care of the public.

Fisher also discussed community concerns about the “huge” softball tournament over the weekend at Hohlt and Henderson Parks, which drew 41 girls’ softball teams.  He stated that Governor Greg Abbott’s latest executive order did not put any prohibitions on youth sporting events outdoors.

Fisher said the city will reemphasize its existing health guidelines at parks to visitors and tournament directors, saying it will look at cancelling all future tournaments if they cannot comply with regulations like maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.  He said the city is watching this situation very carefully and will hold the tournament directors accountable.

The council held budget discussion in workshop at the Barnhill Center before the regular council meeting, and continued the workshop after the meeting.

Also at today's meeting, the council:

  • Authorized the mayor to execute and deliver a certificate related to the issuance of student housing revenue bonds by the New Hope Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corporation to finance the construction of the new student housing facility on the Blinn College campus on West Fifth Street. The certificate acts as acknowledgment that the financing entity held a public hearing for the project.
  • Awarded a Request for Qualification (RFQ) related to grant administration and/or planning services for the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Mitigation Program to Public Management, concerning possible drainage projects.


What’s your Reaction?


  1. what ever happened with those two deep water wells that were drilled in chapel hill by the city a few years back? wouldn’t this be better water less chance of pollution and a second source of pure drinking water for the city

  2. I sure hope spending that much fixes the fishy taste and smell. Brenham water in the summer is horrible

  3. If they can approve that much for a water line repair, can’t they approve money to bid on the BLM land lease auctions at the lake to ensure the water line repair will be sucking up non contaminated water from possible fracking leakage???
    Just a thought…

  4. Funny how these guys turn the tables on the saoftabll tournament and blame Greg Abbot. Besides I thought the city said no more than 10 people at gatherings???!

    1. People are coming to their senses after being surprised about the fracking under our lake and one an only water supply. Citizens are starting to see that they are going to do as THEY please and it’s not what’s best for Brenham but what’s best for them.

  5. How can you award a bid after the contractor already has materials on the job site?

  6. Good news on waterline repair. Let’s hope that the quality of water is worth the supply line cost. The city began testing On a regular basis of our water supply for heavy metal / chemical contamination over three years ago with a promise to publish results on city website. We are still waiting. What does that tell us?

      1. The liability waivers alone on city water written by a very expensive lawyer tell me, “ don’t drink water out of tap”.

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