Roads may be added; deadline looms

Sep. 24, 2013 @ 06:14 PM

The Vance County water district board will hold a special meeting Thursday to approve additional roads for the first phase of the county’s water project, award construction bids for the project’s next phase and finalize water rates.

County Manager Jerry Ayscue said the meeting is planned for Thursday because of a deadline established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He said the county must have the water project funding under contract by the end of fiscal year, which is Sept. 30.

The next phases, 2A and 2B, are funded mainly by USDA Rural Development through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as stimulus money.

“In order to lock in those grant and loan funds, we wanted to have those contracts awarded by the end of September,” Ayscue said.

Planning Director Jordan McMillen said the water board can vote to approve seven roads that did not have enough interest when the construction began. The added roads include Allison Cooper Road (from Carver School to Bill Bragg Morton Road), Cokesbury Court, Southerland Mill Road, the remaining portion of Stewart Farm Road, Patterson Lane, Brookhaven Court and Brookhaven Place.

McMillen said there are eight remaining roads, but the county has not acquired the proper work permits for those roads to move forward with waterline construction.

On Sept. 4, county officials opened contractors’ bids for waterline construction contracts in phases 2A and 2B, which cover Dabney, Williamsboro and Townsville townships.

State law requires government construction contracts worth $500,000 or more to follow a formal bidding process that includes opening the bids in public and a minimum of three bids for each contract.

McMillen said the county did not receive enough bids for two waterline contracts in phase 2A and, as a result, the contracts were re-advertised. He said the county received sufficient bids in the second round, and those were unsealed on Sept. 18.

David Townsend, the new project director for the departed Rob Bernard, will tabulate all the bids and present them to the water board.

The agenda for Thursday’s meeting includes approval of water rates, which will increase during and after construction. Signups for property owners in phase 2A and 2B cost $125, but that rate could increase to as much as $750 during construction and $2,000 after construction is complete.

McMillen said residents in some areas of phase 1A can still purchase a waterline connection for $125, but the rate has increased for places where the line has already been built.

The meeting is open to the public and will take place at 3 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Conference Room at the County Administration Building, 122 Young Street.

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.