McMinnville has been waiting for a Community Development Block Grant for more than three years. The grant is worth $500,000 and was applied for in January 2010.
“We just now got the letter to go out for bids,” said McMinnville Public Works director Bill Brock, who is interim director of the Water and Sewer Department. “It seems like a long time to work on a project, but it’s a CDBG sewer rehab grant.”
The $500,000 grant was applied for by former director Carl Davis to the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development and will be used to replace 5,000 feet of old dilapidated 8-inch pipes with new pipes of the same size in the Skyline area using a process called “pipe bursting.”
Pipe bursting is touted as the ideal technique to use for the rehabilitation and replacement of utility lines. The process is trenchless and involves very little disturbance caused by open trench excavation. A constant-tension winch guides the pipe bursting tool through the existing pipe. The rear expander displaces host pipe fragments into the surrounding soil, while the tool pulls in the new pipe.
Making the wait worth it is the grant match. The grant requires a 16 percent match, which is $80,000. With a Three Star bonus match of 3 percent, the balance owned by the city for getting $500,000 is $65,000.
Despite having to wait for so long, the city has been placed on a deadline.
“We have to accept a bid within 30 days and the recommendation on the award is due at ECD within 14 days,” said Brock. “We have waited more than three years, but now we have 30 days to bid and 14 days to recommend. That’s how grants go sometimes. You wait and then you are put on a deadline.”
Bid documents will be opened Sept. 10 at City Hall, with a Water and Sewer Committee meeting scheduled that same night to accept the bid and send it to the full board for its consideration later that month.
“Once ECD approves the contractor, we can get a contractor on the job and years of waiting will be behind us,” said Brock.
McMinnville Water and Sewer funds will be used for the grant match.