Marlin city manager, mayor head to Austin to secure funding for new pipes

With pipes over 100 years old, the Central Texas town is seeking state funding to help fix the ongoing ruptures
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 6:20 PM CDT
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MARLIN, Texas (KWTX) - With Marlin’s continuous slew of infrastructural issues, the most recent being broken pipes, city leaders headed to the capital to see if they could secure additional funding from the state.

Marlin’s aging steel pipes, which are over 100 years old, have recently caused a series of issues in the small Central Texas town, including water breaks, low pressure, and contaminated drinking sources.

“It’s the water problem, and the streets, you can’t drive on the streets,” Libba Merryman, a Marlin resident, said of the city’s biggest issues. “And you can’t drink the water.”

Marlin’s pipes are in dire need of replacement, but a project that big requires some big funding, too.

“The aging pipes continue to break so we have to be able to have revenues to fix that, which we do not have,” Cedric Davis, the city manager of Marlin, said. “We estimate about 80 million dollars if we were to re-do all the piping.”

Given the hefty price tag, Davis, along with Marlin’s mayor, Carolyn Lofton, headed to Austin Friday to ask for Gov. Abbott’s help.

With pages and pages documenting years worth of water loss and boil water notices, Davis and Lofton presented an action plan to Ben Haguewood, Abbott’s budget and policy advisor, on how the Central Texas town’s pipes could benefit from additional state and federal funds.

According to Davis, the meeting was a success.

Haguewood pledged to put the Marlin city leaders in direct contact with the Texas Water Development Board, as well as the Texas Agricultural Commission, to secure grants in the coming weeks.

“It’s great to see Marlin move in a positive manner,” Davis told WTX. “It’s great to see the governor’s office and people at the capital recognize Marlin in a positive way.”

It’s a move that excites not only Davis, but many other Marlin residents, too.

“I’m happy for all of us, and I hope that the work gets done sooner than later,” Merryman, a Marlin-native, said. “I hope the money comes in sooner than later.”