Lowndesboro opens water extension bids

Published 8:06 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2012

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

“We were excited. We got six bids, which means we had a competitive situation,” said Lowndesboro Mayor Rick Pate following Friday’s bid opening for Tallawassee/River Road Water Extension project.

The town of Lowndesboro received a Delta Regional Authority grant in the amount of $349,553 in November of 2011 to extend its water system down Robinson Switch Road to a subdivision on River Road.

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The apparent responsible low bid received on Friday, according to a bid tabulation list provided by Town Clerk Christie McCord, was from Mark Davis Construction of Semmes, Ala. for $475,424.09.

“We’re just all pedal to the metal now,” said Pate. “If you ask me my gut feeling… I’d be disappointed if we haven’t broken ground by the middle of June.”

Pate said the first bid opened on Friday was about $860,000, and “that was way too high.” But the second was about $475,000, which he said “was about in line with what we had felt like we could swing.”

Pate said there seemed to be a group of bids in the $475,000-$550,000 range. “We felt like that was a good number since that was where most of them were,” he said.

However, Pate explained the project would actually cost about $600,000. He said the bid price “doesn’t include engineering fees and other fees.”

He said, “We could certainly live with that… that’s well within what we budgeted.”

According to Tiffany P. Horton of the South Central Alabama Development Commission, the apparent responsible low bid must receive official approval from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs because federal funds are involved. She said ADECA would administer the grant.

Pate said the Town Council would have to hold a special meeting to accept the approved low bid.

Pate said the town would makeup the difference in cost of the project not covered by the $1,950 impact fees (each) collected from about 100 new water customers and the grant amount.

He said the town currently has three times the pumping capacity of its current demand and probably three times the holding capacity. He said the water extension project would have a 90-day completion time limit.

Bids were received from Mark Davis Construction for $475,424.09; Hilton-Cooper Contracting for $518,943.70; Robert Granger Inc. for $539,626.27; Liberty Design & Construction Co. for $553,387.87; APEL Machine & Supply Co. for $643,451.96; and Dacostas Mudford Construction for $861,891.