The LaFayette City Council approved a resolution Monday night accepting the low bid for the city’s major water line replacement project made possible by a Community Development Block Grant.
The base bid of $839,034 was submitted last week by Ballard Construction out of Alex City. The council had the option to choose from three bids, the base bid and two alternate bids. The base bid includes the installation of new water lines at dead-end portions and looping them back to existing pipes to improve water flow in the city. The project will also replace approximately 2,000 feet of cast-iron pipes with PVC pipes on 1st Ave. NW and change the connection for houses on Alabama Ave. from the old cast-iron pipes to an existing PVC water main already in the area.
Alternate bid one was for $36,455 and included replacing 400 feet of 2-inch water lines to serve nine buildings on LaFayette Street South. Alternate bid two was for $39,896 and included the extension of water lines under the Hwy 50 bypass to serve the potential Advantagesite in the LaFayette Industrial Park.
City Water Distribution Superintendent Jeff Williams told the council that the city had the capability to perform the work specified in the first alternate bid, and thus the council elected not to accept that bid. Engineer Allen Tucker told the council that because the first alternate bid was not accepted, the second alternate was not allowed to be accepted.
City Attorney Mac Tucker noted that, while the city will not be able to pursue the second alternate bid, it should be kept on the council agenda for future consideration. He noted that the county and Chambers County Development Authority had committed funds to that project, so the city needed to take advantage of it when possible.
The resolution to accept the base bid also included a stipulation allowing the mayor to execute the agreement, which Tucker said he hoped would happen next week.
The council also approved a recommendation from Streets and Sanitation Superintendent George Green to allow Excell Communications out of Birmingham to install three new cell phone antennas on the tower located on Hwy 431 near the County Highway Department. Green said that Excell had contacted him about the installation, which would improve cell phone service in the city greatly. Excell has contracts with many cellular providers including SouthernLINC, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T. Green said he had spoken with public safety officials about the project and informed Excell that a structural analysis of the tower needed to be done before work could proceed.
The council’s agreement to allow the new antennas to be installed is contingent on the tower passing that structural integrity test.
A request from Fire Chief Heath Cotney to seek bids for a 2015 Chevy 3500 remount on an ambulance was approved at the meeting. Cotney said that the trade-in value of the city’s 2001 Ford F-450 ambulance would be applied to the bids. He said that bid requests would be sent out on January 13 and would begin being accepted on January 27.
*For full story see this week’s print edition of The Sun.