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Sand Road water project bids over planned budget

MASON TOWNSHIP - Plans to extend water lines to approximately 30 homes on County Road 37 (Sand Road) have hit a familiar and frustrating snag:

The plans are bigger than the pocket book.

Bill Enyart and Sons of South Point was the only business to bid on Phase 1 of the project to extend two miles of water lines to serve roughly 14 households along Sand Road, and that lone bid was $65,000 - more than $17,000 over budget. State law requires projects to be rebid if the bids received are more than 10 percent above the cost of the project.

Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Agency Director of Community Development David Michael said he was a bit surprised by the difference between the bid and the estimated project cost.

"There are no pump stations or water tanks in this, it's all water lines and service connections," he said.

Phase 1 of the project, paid for by Community Development Block Grant formula funds, was supposed to have been completed by June 30.

Phase 2 was scheduled to have been completed this fall.

Michael said he will ask the state this week for the necessary time extension to rebid Phase 1 of the project and to find more money to pay for it.

Michael said one option may be to take money earmarked for Phase 2 of the project and use it to fund Phase 1, and then take monies from Phase 3 to fund any shortfalls in Phase 2.

The second leg of the water line project is expected to cost approximately $35,000. It will extend lines another mile to accommodate four more households. There are no cost projections yet for Phase 3, which would extend lines an additional 1 to 2 miles to include 10 to 12 new customers.

Michael said he did not know when Phase 1 will be rebid. The original bid opening was May 27.

A project to install new, EPA-required air strippers in the Coal Grove water plant have hit the same snag and must be rebid. The two bids submitted were approximately $200,000 over projections.

The plan to install two air strippers was expected to cost $304,000, and were to have been paid for by CDBG formula funds and Issue 2 monies. Michael said he will seek CDBG competitive funds to make up the difference in that project.