Village to award $2.6 million sewer bid

By Ryan Ottney

September 19, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

New Boston Village Council on Tuesday asked for a resolution to award a $2.6 million sewer project bid to Fields Excavating, of Kitts Hill. A public meeting is scheduled on Oct. 1 for public comments or questions before the bid is awarded.

The project was bid for three phases — the Base Bid (storm sewer separation work from Munn’s Run to Harrisonville Avenue), Alternative A (on Rhodes Avenue, from Harrisonville to Glenwood Avenue), and Alternative B (from Rhodes Avenue, up Glenwood Avenue). The village decided to proceed with the Base Bid and Alternative A work only, for which Fields Excavating submitted a total bid of $2,639,903.80. Council agreed it would be better to complete sewer work beneath Rhodes Avenue as soon as possible, before the state of Ohio repaves the road in 2015.

They will rebid work for Alternative B at a later time, hoping to save money on the final project.

According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they began sending letters to the village in 2005 asking for a long-term sewer control plan that would divide the village’s current combined sewer system into two separate lines — one sewer line and one storm water line. Chief among their concerns is the village’s combined sewer overflows (CSO), which is what occurs when too much water and sewage flow through the sewer lines. When that happens, the excess flow will bypass the two pump stations and dump into the river. The EPA is also concerned about instances of overflows happening inside people’s basements.

The agency sent a letter to the village in February stating they would impose fines for the period of 2004-09 while the village sewers were not in compliance. Village Solicitor Justin Blume said the EPA agreed to stay those fines as long as the village is making progress to resolve the issues, which the village reports they are.

Council on Tuesday asked the village solicitor to prepare a resolution for their next meeting, authorizing the mayor and village administrator to issue a tentative notice of award for construction contract to Fields Excavating, Inc.

Earlier this year, the village received a $1.8 million grant for sewer work. They were the only community in Ohio to receive the grant. The village also received a $400,000 interest-free loan from the Ohio EPA. The remaining cost of the project will need to be covered by another loan, Warren reported. These loans will all be paid for by imposing a $1.50 water fee on village residents for every 1,000 gallons used, up to 500,000 gallons, and 75-cents for every thousand gallons more. Councilman Junior Williams said there are only about nine water customers in the village using more than 500,000 gallons.

That fee will begin Jan. 1, 2014, and appear on village water bills in April.

According to Councilman Williams, there are 827 water customers in the village with an average annual usage of about 60,000 gallons per user. Using these figures, the village expects to collect about $90,000 from residents each year, while their EPA loan payments would be $75,000 paid in two installments each year, beginning in 2015. This would collect the village a total of $1.5 million over the 20-year term of the loan. Surplus funds collected by the village would be used for the next phases of work, or unexpected change orders.

Village Administrator Steve Hamilton said the project could begin in December or January and should take 10 months to complete. When finished, he said it will remove 8 million gallons of storm water from the New Boston sewers to help mitigate their overflow problem.

New Boston Village Council meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month. The next regular meeting will be Oct. 1, and there will be a public meeting in the council chambers at 5:30 p.m. that day also to discuss the sewer bid before council votes on the resolution.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.