July 30, 2014 10:37:28 AM
MILLPORT, Ala. -- With less than a month before the Town of Millport must resolve its lingering issues with its waste water lagoon, there's a chance the city will have to purchase land from Lamar County to keep costs within the $350,000 threshold of a grant from the Alabama Department of Economic Community Affairs.
Mayor Icie Wriley informed the town council Monday that the county's asking price for a little more than seven acres of land is "more than we can deal with" but noted the next step will hinge upon construction bids, which were reopened more than a month ago after initial bids ranged from $700,000 to $1 million. The initial bids included extensive costs to haul away materials that clog the lagoon. Purchasing land near the site is seen as a cheaper alternative. The city will receive sealed bids on Aug. 15.
Though Wriley would not disclose the asking price for the land, Councilman Stanley Allred questioned whether the undisclosed price was "more than its worth."
Questions remain, too, about whether monies from the ADECA grant could be used to purchase land or if Wriley can negotiate a price lower than the undisclosed asking price. Wriley said further conversations with the Lamar County Commissioners and Probate Judge Johnny Rogers are needed.
"The amount is probably reasonable, and we could probably swing it, but the question is do we want to do that right now?" said Wriley. "There would be enough money to do it, but we'd rather use the money somewhere else right now. But if we had to, we could."
Wriley said she doesn't anticipate the project being scaled back or delayed.
Millport's lagoon currently must be aerated by hand by city water and street employees.
Progress made in water pressure issue
Wriley said Millport Water Superintendent Robby McAdams has identified the cause of water pressure issues plaguing residents on Highway 96 stem from Steel Dust Recycling's facility, also located on Highway 96.
Wriley said McAdams has talked with SDR about a tank that, when filled, creates a large jolt that affects residents' water pressure. She said McAdams will explore the possibility of SDR filling the tank in the middle of the night so the effect won't be as great.
Residents attended the July 15 council meeting and detailed issues ranging from inconsistent water pressure and higher-than-normal water bills.
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