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Powellsville moves forward with sewer project

POWELLSVILLE – A decade-long project is nearing fruition.

Tuesday afternoon, the town of Powellsville inched closer to awarding bids for a multi-million dollar sanitary sewer system improvement.

With nearly 50 people gathered at town hall, engineers from The Wooten Company officially opened seven bids from which the town will choose a contractor for the project.

After a greeting from Wooten Company engineer Gary Hartong, Powellsville Mayor Thomas Asbell addressed the group about the project.

“Gary said it started eight years ago, but we actually applied for a grant in October of 1999, so it’s been 10 years,” Asbell said. “We were funded in September of 2001. As you all know we’ve had many ups and downs since that time.”

After that, Asbell recognized Bertie County Commissioner J. Wallace Perry, who represents Powellsville on the county commission.

“I want to thank all the citizens for coming,” Asbell said. “I hope you’ll be as patient in the future as you have been in the past.”

Following his remarks, Asbell relinquished the floor to Hartong and his co-worker, Slade Harvin, to open the bids.

There were seven bids opened by The Wooten Company as town officials and citizens. Each of the seven recognized the project’s three addendums and included a bond bid of five percent.

Each of the companies provided bids for Alternate 1 and Alternate 2 for the project. Alternate 1 is a step system and was the more costly of the options for each of the seven proposals.

On Alternate 1, the proposals ranged from a low bid of $2,491,223 by Eberhart Construction of Willow Springs to a high of $3,290,066 by H.G. Reynolds of Henderson.

Also offering bids on the project were George Raper and Son ($3,193,913), Hendrix Barnhill ($2,585,871.50), Ralph Hodge Construction ($2,928,807.90), Sunland Builders ($2,622,490) and T.A. Loving Company ($2,546,345).

The proposals were less for Alternate 2, but again it was Eberhart Construction with the low bid as they offered to complete the project for $2,181,835. The high bid for that project was George Raper and Son of Elizabeth City with a bid of $2,753,460.

When each of the bids had been opened, Hartong reported that The Wooten Company would take them back to office to do final calculations before recommending a low bidder to the town.

After the meeting, Asbell said he believed the town would be able to award the bid.

The town originally received a $3 million grant from the North Carolina Rural Center and the Clean Water Trust Fund. They went back and asked for additional funding and the two entities added $895,000 for the project.

“Over the 10 years, we have had some setbacks, some ups and down,” the mayor said. “Unfortunately, we had to change engineers on the project, but once we brought The Wooten Company in they have done a professional job for us.”

Mayor Asbell said he thought the project was one of the biggest things to ever happen to the town of Powellsville.

“We are blessed and fortunate that the town of Powellsville only has to contribute $5,000 to this project,” he said. “The hard work and hours and hours put in are well worth it to get to the point where we are today.”

He also again thanked Commissioner Perry for his help in making the project happen.

“We want to say a special thank you to our district Commissioner, Wallace Perry for his hard work,” the mayor said. “Also, we appreciate the work of Slade Harvin and Gary Hartong of The Wooten Company.”

The mayor said he believed the town board would meet in special session sometime this month to award the contract and hoped construction would start in August.