June 25, 2014 11:00:16 AM
MILLPORT, Ala. -- Millport Town Council members and Mayor Icie Wriley weren't expecting construction bids to repair its faulty sewer lagoon to be more than twice the amount they have to spend.
With a $350,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the council anticipated one of the three bids presented Monday by engineer Jonathan Bonner, of CFM Group of Tuscaloosa, to be closer to grant amount. Two, however, were more than $1 million. The lowest was $740,000.
The council voted unanimously to re-open the bidding process and file for a 180-day extension with ADECA that would see the completion target date extended from July 14, Wriley said.
"[Bonner] has done a lot of leg work, talked to the construction companies about things to change," Wriley said. "We're on a timetable here, so it has to be real soon."
Wriley wouldn't give an anticipated start date for construction, or if she expects new bids at Millport's next meeting on July 14.
One possible change to the bids could be in Bonner's recommendation to utilize adjacent land to essentially build a small lake to hold sludge that is dredged from the lagoon. Monday's bids included expenses associated with hauling away sludge.
The town's system of lagoons presently must be aerated by hand, via boat, Wriley said when the grant was announced in November 2013. The condition of the lagoons required constant maintenance by sewer department employees to maintain compliance with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
The sewer system "isn't any worse than it was", said Wriley, who doesn't anticipate the city using monies from its capital improvements fund or general fund to pay for any part of the project.
In other action, the council:
■ Renewed its city insurance policy with Aronov, effective July 1. The city's premium increased $463.
■ Was notified of council member Lane Gilliam's certification as an Advanced Certified Municipal Official.
■ Approved the purchase of a K-12 saw and thermal camera for the town's fire department.
■ Announced the beginning of the water department's project to remove excess iron from the city's water supply.
2. Lowndes Co.: A long road to a license COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Palmer Home works to free modern slaves COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY