City moves ahead with sewer work

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle City Council has approved a bid of $532,875 from Tunco Inc. for the construction of a 60 inch tunnel under I-65 at the Highway 36 interchange.
The move was made to extend sewer service to a city-owned, 18-acre tract of undeveloped land in the southeast corner of I-65 and Hwy. 36.
Tunco's work will be limited to the tunnel. Other items linked to the project bring the total estimated cost to $844,098. The city is obligated to pay $44,448 for engineering services already performed. Hartselle Utilities has footed some of the engineering costs and will pay to install water and gas lines in the tunnel. Some of the items, such as clearing and grubbing and construction of a temporary road, will be handled by the city's Public Works Department.
The council opted to proceed with the project several weeks ago even though the cost came in at more than $1.4 million, opting to rework the bid. At that time an agreement was reached with the Hartselle Utilities Board to participate in the project.
"I feel fairly comfortable that we are on track to get the project done at a cost that is close to the original estimate," said Mayor Dwight Tankersley at a work session Monday night.
At the same meeting, Councilman Mark Mizell expressed concern about the work proceeding as an open-ended project.
"I'm OK as long as the cost doesn't go above where we are now," Mizell said. "I think HU should pay more. They're going to get direct benefits from this expansion. I believe you have to draw a line somewhere.
"Do I completely trust the engineering firm? no," Mizell said. "I'm ready to cap it off but I'm all right with doing what we agreed to a year ago."
In a separate but related matter, the council authorized the mayor to enter into a contract with HU to establish certain obligation on the part of each entity as far as the I-65 sewer project is concerned.
The contract designates HU as project manager and contract administrator for the tunneling project in accordance with the plans set forth by the project engineer. It acknowledges all pubic works projects undertaken must proceed under the direct supervision of a professional engineer. Upon conclusion of the project the city will take formal action to transfer ownership of the sewer lines and other associated infrastructure to Hartselle Utilities.
In consideration for the city's payment for the project, HU agrees to hold in place for 36 months from the date of completion its current support development charge of $1,000 per customer for each customer located on the city's 18-acre tract.
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