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The City of Tyler will receive $5,915,195 in federal funds in accordance with the CARES act.

City of Tyler attorney Deborah Pullum told the Tyler City Council, during its Wednesday meeting, that the city's funds were determined by the per capita population. 

"75% of the allotment will be spent in the categories of medical expenses, public health, and employees who were dedicated to mitigating or responding to the public emergency," Pullum said.

She went on to explain that the remaining 25% of the funds will be used for any other category described by the treasury guidance, and that the funds cannot be used towards shortfalls in revenue or non COVID-19 related items.

Additionally, the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport has been approved to receive $1,218,343 in federal funds to aide the airport in covering operational expenses in light of the pandemic.

The city council unanimously approved the acceptance of the fund, which was provided by the Federal Aviation Administration CARES act grant. 

In other City Council news, the City Manager Ed Broussard announced that the library will be open to the public on June 1, and said that the drive-thru service will also continue to be available. 

He went on to explain that the city does not wish to cancel the swim season and that they are looking into ways to safely open pools, implementing social distancing measures. 

Decisions have not been finalized over whether or not fishing tournaments will be held in Tyler this summer, he said.

Later this year residents can expect to see construction around the city after an initiative to revise and improve over 600 miles of sewage lines kicks off. The planning stages are expected to be completed this summer, with construction set to begin in the fourth quarter and stretch through November 2022.

Jimmie Johnson, director of utilities, presented the plan which will cost $250 million to complete.

"There are over 600 miles of sewer lines that need inspection," said Johnson. "The distance equates to the distance from Tyler to Atlanta, Georgia. Most of the system is clay pipe, which is usually either in really good shape or it can be broken up and crushed. It does have problems and so does the amount of 6 inch pipes which make up 40% of system."

He went on the explain that while some of the pipes are made out of outdated clay material, concrete pipes also make up a significant part of the system and although it is inexpensive to install, it gets chemically eaten up inside and roots come in.

Tiffany Currie, project engineer for the City of Tyler went on to explain the cost analysis of the project and compared the city's estimated expenses compared to the funds spent by other cities in the general region. 

"$250 million is a lot of money, but when compared to other cities in the region we are doing pretty good," said Currie.

She displayed a chart as she explained that for a similar project, Corpus Christi spent $810 million, San Antonio spent $1.2 billion, and Houston spent $2 billion. 

The project was approved and the estimated timeline projected that Group 3 construction would be fully completed by November of 2022. 


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