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Airport water tower completion set for next year

A new water tower at the Craig Field Airport and Industrial Complex is set for completion in late February.

The tower will exclusively serve businesses in the complex, and safety is an immediate benefit.

“It will be an upgrade to our fire protection,” said Menzo Driskell, executive director. “Of course, it will provide potable water, but the fire protection is the main thing.”

The water tower will cost about $700,000, and the airport authority is using a grant from the Federal Economic Development Authority to cover 70 percent of the cost.

Once it is completed, the airport will turn over operation and maintenance of the water tower to the Dallas County Water Authority.

The tower would give the water authority a backup in case its pumps failed. But with upgrades and backup generators at its main plant, using the Craig Field tower would come as a last resort.

“It’s going to increase our storage capacity. And also for the businesses out there, it’s going to increase their pressure,” said David Hamm, Dallas County Water Authority general manager.

Hamm said using the tower will not require committing more staff from his office.

The long term benefits could come when representatives of new industries see they can have more efficient access to a water supply.

“Hopefully, it will attract some more businesses out there for the authority. In that respect, if it does, then it will increase our revenue,” Hamm said.

The tower is one of several projects the Craig Field Airport and Industrial Authority is currently undertaking.

Among them are renovation of two hangars, resurfacing parking aprons, perimeter fencing and new fuel islands for aircraft.