MAN — Man Mayor Jim Blevins and the town council met with representatives from Dun Engineering about a proposal to break up a large water renovation project into smaller projects so that they can be bid out and begin work sooner during the July 9 council meeting.
Earlier this year the town council was stunned at the price tag on a total water revision project which was astronomical. On Feb. 13, Frederick Hypes and Jeff Petry of Dunn Engineers said to repair all the problems would take an estimated $6.5 million dollars. However, the engineers explained, by breaking it up into smaller projects it would be easier to get funding and quicker to get completed.
The town has been struck with major damages to its water system, which an insurance company refused to pay for. In February, Water Department Supervisor Dwayne Mounts explained that the town had other problems such as half the town’s waterlines needing to be replaced due to being the wrong size, and a tremendous loss of water and pressure.
Petry said that over the years as old lines ruptured or blew out they were often replaced by lines that were not the right size, or had other problems leading to a loss of water and a loss of pressure. Roughly one half of the town’s water lines must be replaced, he noted. The original estimate for repairing the water tanks was around $800,000. One tank is in town, and one tank is on the hill in South Man. Both need to be repaired, sandblasted and painted Hypes said, noting that an access road would have to be put in to get heavy equipment for repairs to the tank, which is currently only accessible by walking to it.
Dunn Engineering had some possible good news on the proposed project.
Currently the biggest part of the problem is the town’s main water tank which needs to be refurbished and repaired so it can get back into full service. Dunn Engineering has worked up a stand-alone project for that. However the engineers need to get a contract for the repairs approved. Mayor Jim Blevins said the town had $143,000 in service money and had gotten another $30,000 from The Logan County Commission. Mayor Jim Blevins said he had spoken with W.Va. Senator Art Kirkendoll who was working with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to try and get the town another $50,000 grant for the needed water repairs.
“In my opinion, this is the way to go,” said Councilman Daryl Mangrum.
Several councilmembers were upset because some money had already been utilized on the project including another engineering firm, Griffin Engineering. $10,000 of that had gone to Dunn Engineering while the rest had gone to Griffin. Blevins noted Griffin Engineering had received around $30,000.
Mangrum said the original project would have included new water lines going to Kistler, both tanks and repairs to the water plant, but that it would be easier to break the project up into smaller ones.
The total price for the single tank renovation project was set at $241,000. Dunn Engineering would do the paperwork as well as seek funding through the West Virginia Region II Development Office. Town Attorney Adrian Hoosier noted the engineering services part of the contract was $46,000.
“This is a stand alone project for the main tank,” one of the engineers said, noting it would require an inspector on the job site.
John Fekete said he was given the impression that the town would not have to pay unless the engineering firm could help find funding for the project.
“That is correct,” the engineer said, noting it might be possible to get block grants to do the project in sections. He noted that small community block grants might be available for the water lines to Kistler.
“If we can get that $50,000 from the state, how soon can you start on that tank?” Blevins asked.
The engineer said it would be possible to begin in around 90 days, but noted “that window of opportunity is closing.”
Blevins said he would contact Senator Kirkendoll or Gov. Tomblin on Tuesday morning and explain the situation and seek assistance.
“On behalf of the town council and myself, I want to thank Senator Art Kirkendoll and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for everything they have done so far to benefit the residents of the town of Man,” Blevins added. “We have been through some rough times and when we needed friends they were there for us and our community.”