While downtown WF grows, so do concerns over infrastructure - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

While downtown WF grows, so do concerns over infrastructure

Downtown Wichita Falls Downtown Wichita Falls
WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) -

Downtown Wichita Falls continues to grow. But that's leading to a problem that could have major consequences. There's serious concern among city leaders about the area's infrastructure and whether it can handle more people.

The pipes underground in downtown are over 100-years-old. Those old pipes are being asked to consume more water and sewage with more restaurants and apartments.

Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana doesn't think the current infrastructure can hold with more growth until it's replaced.

How important is good infrastructure to Co-Owner of The Highlander Public House, Max Phieps?

"Water to cook with, plumbing, sewers for the bathroom, and for the garbage that comes out of the kitchen is all very critical," Phieps said.

Wichita Falls city leaders agree. That's why they are working to come up with a solution. Every year parts of the aging downtown infrastructure are addressed as part of the Capital Improvement Project. But more money is needed to make all those changes.

Mayor Santellana said they are not sure what will be done, but all options are on the table.

"They recognize the infrastructure is poor and there are needs to upgrade," downtown business owner, Vicki Milam said. "But I think that they're looking at that and will come up with a good plan. In the meantime, we will just continue to promote downtown and create new business opportunities."

Milam said infrastructure downtown is important, but so is economic development. 

More businesses also mean more demand for connectivity. Phieps said one hurdle for him opening The Highlander was fixing their broadband issues.

"Commerce is dependent so much on the internet now," Phieps said. "We've got to have it. And there are providers in the area that are working with businesses and the city to get the upgraded plant downtown that's needed to get the higher speeds here."

City Director of Community Development Dana Schoening agrees. When asked if the city would consider proposals for a fiber optic line being run downtown, Schoening said if it meets their needs he thinks they would make it happen.

"As we see more growth coming, there's going to be the need for new and higher technological advances for our downtown," Milam said. "Because they are the oldest part and the centers of our community."

Phieps said the infrastructure inside the buildings he's in is an issue, particularly with pipes that are cracked or deteriorated. He said he's had to replace most of them inside every downtown buildings he owns.

However, Phieps feels the downtown infrastructure is in pretty good shape and believes the city is doing the best they can to stay on top of it.
 

Copyright 2017 KAUZ News All Rights Reserved

  • News HeadlinesNewsMore>>

  • Pompeo nomination narrowly clears panel, goes to full Senate

    Pompeo nomination narrowly clears panel, goes to full Senate

    Monday, April 23 2018 1:05 AM EDT2018-04-23 05:05:19 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 1:10 AM EDT2018-04-24 05:10:07 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). In this April 12, 2018, photo, Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo speaks during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his confirmation on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Trump’s nominee for secreta...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). In this April 12, 2018, photo, Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo speaks during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his confirmation on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Trump’s nominee for secreta...
    Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is facing serious opposition before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which may not have enough votes to recommend his confirmation.
    Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is facing serious opposition before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which may not have enough votes to recommend his confirmation.
  • DOJ looks into how AT&T, Verizon handle defecting customers

    DOJ looks into how AT&T, Verizon handle defecting customers

    Friday, April 20 2018 7:43 PM EDT2018-04-20 23:43:53 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:18 AM EDT2018-04-24 04:18:00 GMT
    The Justice Department is investigating AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group. (Source: Raycom Media)The Justice Department is investigating AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group. (Source: Raycom Media)
    The Justice Department is investigating AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group. (Source: Raycom Media)The Justice Department is investigating AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group. (Source: Raycom Media)

    The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into whether AT&T and Verizon and a standards-setting group worked together to hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers.

    The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into whether AT&T and Verizon and a standards-setting group worked together to hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers.

  • Rep. Pat Fallon kicks off town halls in Wichita County

    Rep. Pat Fallon kicks off town halls in Wichita County

    Monday, April 23 2018 11:56 PM EDT2018-04-24 03:56:52 GMT
    (Source: KAUZ)(Source: KAUZ)
    (Source: KAUZ)(Source: KAUZ)

    Texas State Senator Candidate Pat Fallon kicked off his tour of Wichita County in Iowa Park today. The current state representative also visited Electra. 

    Texas State Senator Candidate Pat Fallon kicked off his tour of Wichita County in Iowa Park today. The current state representative also visited Electra. 

Powered by Frankly