By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sewer bids higher than expected
Placeholder Image

The bids stink for a sewer rehab project in the city of McMinnville. Officials must contribute an additional $44,495 to receive a $500,000 grant.
The city applied for a Community Development Block Grant totaling $500,000 back in 2010. Word recently came that the grant had been awarded with a match requirement from the city of $80,000, bringing the total to $580,000.
While the city was expecting to chip in $80,000, it turns out that’s not going to be enough. The actual cost for the project is $624,495, meaning the city will have to pay $44,495 more than anticipated.
Bringing the bad news before Water and Sewer Committee members was engineer Anthony Pelham.
“Bids were opened,” said Pelham “Short version, they came in higher than expected. The prices came in approximately 25 percent higher. When you remove all deducts that were allowed within the scope, we still have a budget shortfall.”
Pelham, who works for James C. Hailey & Company, reduced his fees by $9,400, removed all contingencies, and removed all non-essential line items which left an outstanding balance of $44,495.
Causing the problem, says Pelham, is the time frame between when the numbers for the grant were generated (2009) and when the grant was awarded and bids accepted (2013). Items cost more now, he said.
The city has two options: 1) reject all bids and send the grant back, or 2) provide the additional funds and move forward with the project.
The 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 dilapidated 8-inch pipes with new pipes of the same size in the Skyline area using a process called “pipe bursting.”
According to McMinnville Public Works director Bill Brock, who is now interim director of the water department, the lines in the area are bad and will have to be replaced.
“Eventually, we will have to do the work,” said Brock. “The lines are in bad shape.”
Committee members Jimmy Bonner, chairman, Billy Wood and Mike Neal voted unanimously to allow the increase in the city’s contribution from $80,000 to $124,495 to cover the outstanding amount. McMinnville Water Department funds will be used.
The measure will be sent to the full city board for its consideration.