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Oklahoma City nabs $617.5M to upgrade, manage water utility for Tinker AFB

The The Defense Logistics Agency awarded Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust a $617.5 million contract Tuesday to upgrade and maintain water and wastewater facilities at Tinker Air Force Base, seen here in a 2016 aerial photo. Photo by Lauren Gleason/U.S. Air Force
The The Defense Logistics Agency awarded Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust a $617.5 million contract Tuesday to upgrade and maintain water and wastewater facilities at Tinker Air Force Base, seen here in a 2016 aerial photo. Photo by Lauren Gleason/U.S. Air Force

Aug. 25 (UPI) -- The Defense Logistics Agency awarded Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust a $617.5 million contract Tuesday for ownership, operation and maintenance of the water and wastewater utility systems at Oklahoma's Tinker Air Force Base, according to the Pentagon.

The 50-year deal was a sole-source acquisition, using a justification in U.S. code that exempts government contracts from typical competition requirements if the property or services needed are available only from one responsible source.

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Earlier this month Oklahoma City officials authorized the city's Water Utilities Trust and the city attorney's office to finalize a draft contract with the federal government to modernize the base's aging water and sewer systems.

At the time The Oklahoman reported that it would cost $130 million over the next 16 years to upgrade the facilities, and the total outlay for upgrades and management would be an estimated $300 million over the 50-year life of the agreement.

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Under the agreement, Oklahoma City's utility customers will not subsidize Tinker water service and vice versa, according to Jared Stigge, whose engineering firm has been working on an agreement to update the facilities for several years.

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A draft proposal outlining a possible plan for management of Tinker's water dates to 2013.

In March 2017 the Air Force awarded Honeywell with a $243 million contract to reduce energy consumption and costs at Tinker.

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That deal included updating wastewater treatment systems as well modernizing manufacturing lines, installing two new 2,000-ton chillers, installing smart meters and LED lighting and decentralizing the steam heating plant to use less energy.

The most recent Environmental Working Group report said tap water from Tinker was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards but had high levels of several cancer-causing contaminants, including bromodichloromethane, chromium and radium.

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