Springfield’s long-awaited sewer improvement project is closer to getting started.
City council members approved a contract with McClendon Enterprises to extend sewer lines to about 20 homes in the Railroad Avenue neighborhood. The bid was approved at the council’s Jan. 16 special called meeting.
There were nine bidders in all, with bids ranging from $398,000 to $721,000. The bottom five bidders were within $50,000 of each other.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Mayor Barton Alderman.
Work on the project is not expected to start immediately, City Manager Brett Bennett said. McClendon was the contractor for the city’s force main, and Bennett pointed out how quickly that project was completed.
There is a stipulation in the block grant that the city has to have 50 percent of the money drawn down by June 30.
“So the sooner they get started,” Bennett said, “the better.”
Back in 2010, the city sought a grant of more than $450,000 but did was turned down in its request. The city eventually was awarded a block grant of $359,605 in August 2011.
Railroad Avenue residents had complained about problems with their septic tanks and about the costs of upkeep for their tanks. Septic tanks were having to be pumped out several times a year, and they also filled with water during heavy rains.
Residents also complained about sewage backup in their septic systems, slow drainage and toilets that would not flush. They also said they would have to do their laundry and bathing before a heavy rain started.
The city also will run a new sewer line from Railroad Avenue under the railroad, allowing for the elimination of a lift station near the post office and the HeritageBank of the South. The total cost for the projects is $398,000.
“We’re within a couple thousand of the original estimate, which is odd to be that close,” Bennett said.
With the other sewer line, the city is converting that line to a gravity-type and the line will be deep enough to serve anything else in that area.