Ahoskie moves forward with water project

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 22, 2005

AHOSKIE – There are ways to reduce a financial burden without sacrificing quality of service.

Ahoskie Public Works Director Mike Bradley has discovered a way to save the town nearly $65,000 and give the citizens the quality water they deserve.

During Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, Ahoskie’s elected leaders listened to a proposal from Dan Boone, an engineer with The Wooten Company, regarding the proposed new town well located on NC 561.

Boone explained that the near $677,000 project was facing a cost overrun of an additional $75,000. However, at Bradley’s request, Wooten engineers discovered a way to reduce that cost overrun.

Instead of two deep wells at the site, the town has opted for one shallow and one deep well. Boone said due to the high quality of water found in the test wells at that site, the water pulled from the shallow and deep aquifers can be mixed.

“The water found in the shallow aquifer is very low in hydrogen sulfide, an element normally found in shallow wells,” Boone said. “For that reason, we feel comfortable that mixing the water from the two wells will work. Plus, there is a savings in the cost and a decrease in the construction time.”

That drop in construction time was well-received by Council members due to the fact that the $400,000 grant received for the project from the NC Rural Center is contingent upon the project being completed by July 31, 2006.

“This new option will definitely allow you to meet that deadline,” Boone said.

That option includes $166,000 in construction costs for the two wells and $63,663 for water distribution lines.

As mentioned, a $400,000 Rural Center grant will pay for the majority of the project. The town has committed $266,000 to the deal and now faces a deficit of $10,826 compared to the projected cost overrun of $75,000.

Council members approved a measure to move forward with Boone’s recommendation of placing two wells at the site with a combined capacity of 500 gallons per minute.

Bids for the work will be advertised soon and the completion date is tentatively set for June of next year.