City of Bland engineer says water project ‘still doable’

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 1/13/21

Integrity Engineering’s Terris Cates was at the Bland Board of Aldermen meeting Monday night to tell city officials “the city water project is still doable.”

“The …

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City of Bland engineer says water project ‘still doable’

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Integrity Engineering’s Terris Cates was at the Bland Board of Aldermen meeting Monday night to tell city officials “the city water project is still doable.”

“The demolition of the old water tower is still in the bid, but don’t have to be awarded. However, we took out other structure and door repairs,” Cates told the board. “CDBG is the administrator, and administration increased their part to $28,500. We should have $195,000 in reserves and we have $2.4 million already committed. That’s a $2,268 difference. This project is doable.”

Cates said he is unsure about cost estimates on the project.

“I really don’t know what is going to happen,” he said. “We look at what the paper costs, and administration. I want to be totally transparent about what we are facing and where we are going.”

While Cates says there is a remote possibility that one contractor would bid and be awarded the whole project, it is very unlikely, and more cost effective to break up the bids.

When previous bids for the project came in, two were viable and one was outlandishly high. Engineers estimate that they need to shave about $519,000 from the project to balance the budget. Cates said he met with Mayor Lee Medlock and Public Works Director Jason Lewis Dec. 15 about the budget and scope of the project. They came up with the following list of things the city could repair themselves and hopefully replace more cast iron pipe:

• Removed all 22 radio-read water meters;

• Kept all easements on city property;

• Anything along the road should be in the green space. If in the road, the city pays by the foot;

• Wait to dismantle the old water tower and save $68,000 in the current budget;

• Replace well one doors — $7,800;

• Repair steel structure and roof hatch on well two;

• Medlock and Lewis will do painting to save the city funds.

“We are bidding at the best time of the year we could possibly bid,” Cates said. “But I’m not guaranteeing anything.”

Alderman Diana Mayfield asked Cates if he had taken into account that the bid and building costs have increased.

“No, I haven’t, because it’s a guess,” Cates said.

Cates said they hope to return a signed letter of revised conditions to CDBG and to go out to bid as soon as possible and have the first bids awarded by February.

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