SILVERHILL, Alabama — After a four-month delay in the Town of Silverhill’s nearly half-million-dollar water system expansion project, town council members approved a bid at its Monday, Jan. 6 meeting to move forward with the project.
The project, which was slated to begin in 2019, was estimated at $460,000, but the council voted in September to reject six bids opened on the project Aug. 23 with the lowest bid coming in at $524,000, more than $60,000 over budget. The highest bid received was nearly $700,000.
Bids on the project were resubmitted after the town agreed to send letters to all potential customers offering them a reduction in tapping fees to sign on to the project, hoping to offset the cost of providing meters for every potential customer of the project, adding to the overall cost.
At its Jan. 6 meeting, the council voted to accept a bid from Water Resource Management of $455,549.90.
In April of 2018, the council voted to enter into an agreement with Civil Southeast regarding the running of 8-inch water lines and replacing 2-inch water lines with 8-inch waterlines along East Boulevard.
In September of last year, the council learned that a federal grant would pay half of the cost of the project.
The project would then require a loan from the town with the first payment not due until January 2020. At earlier meetings, officials discussed increasing water rates over a 2-year period in order to pay for the loan.
According to the bid specifications published in Gulf Coast Media, the project calls for 12,250 linear feet of 8-inch Class 200 PVC mater main and related equipment.
Silverhill Mayor Jared Lyles said they anticipate the project starting sometime in March with the project calling for 90 working days. Allowing for two to four weeks of weather delays, Lyles said, the project should be completed by September.
In other business Jan. 6, the council agreed to allow Lyles to submit an offer to purchase 7.23 acres of property on the west side of town for $120,000.
Under the terms of the agreement, if approved the sale price would be paid through owner financing from the seller to the town over a 20-year term.
At its Dec. 16 meeting, council members discussed possibly using part of the property for a water tower. They also discussed using the property for fire department facilities, but it was unclear whether or not it could be used for that purpose.
The council also set a public hearing for its Monday, Feb 3 meeting for public comment on the adoption of 2018 Building Codes.
They also discussed donating to Robertsdale High School following a request for a donation from the Lady Bears Booster Club. Lyles said the council discussed giving one donation to RHS rather than giving to individual groups, then allowing the school to decide where the month would be best served.