Murfreesboro okays tentative award for sewer rehab work

Published 6:15 pm Friday, December 23, 2022

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MURFREESBORO – A sewer rehabilitation project in Murfreesboro is tentatively set to move forward thanks to approval from the Town Council at their meeting on Dec. 14.

Town Administrator Carolyn Brown explained that the project is to replace a portion of the sewer lines in town identified as being in the worst shape. That designation was made following a previous Asset Inventory and Assessment (AIA) which was done through state grant funding in 2019.

Based on the results of the AIA, the NC Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Infrastructure provided the town with a grant/loan in the amount of $1.7 million, where the town would be forgiven $500,000 but would have to pay back the rest at 2 percent interest. But the project has been delayed several times.

“This project got bidded out,” Brown explained, “and the first time, we had no bidders. The second time, we had bidders. But by the time that came around, material prices had gone up.”

She noted that they would be using ARP (American Rescue Plan) funds to make up the cost difference. The total project cost is currently a little over $2.1 million.

As previously reported by the News Herald, the council approved using the ARP funds for this purpose at a meeting in October.

“This is a small step towards our very long-term goal of rehabbing our infrastructure,” stated Council member David Brown.

Council member Berna Stephens also acknowledged the delays to the project over time.

“As time goes on and the project does not get completed because we can’t get the engineers, the costs continued to go up,” she explained. “It’s not because we’re not pursuing the issues. It’s just that everybody is working on infrastructure right now, and you just can’t get the work done at the cost you thought it was going to be. It continues to increase. We have no control over the cost.”

The council voted on two different motions for the project.

The first was resolution for a tentative award to Ralph Hodge Construction Co, the lowest bidder for the project. The $1.7 million award is contingent upon the approval of NCDEQ, Division of Water Infrastructure. Stephens motioned to approve this resolution, and Brown seconded.

The vote was unanimously in favor among those in attendance. Council members Jay Revelle and James Futrell were unable to attend the meeting.

The second motion was to approve a Capital Project Ordinance for the sewer rehab project. The ordinance stated the total costs are projected to be $2,138,091.33.

Brown motioned to approve the ordinance, and council member Craig Dennis seconded. Like the previous motion, the vote was a unanimous approval.