MARTIN — City council members expect initial work on sewer plant improvements to begin to begin within the next few days.
During Tuesday’s city council meeting, representatives from Summit Engineering notified the council there had been a snag with the original low bidder, Bob White Construction.
Summit officials said the amount of the project led to some high bonding costs under which Bob White Construction could not operate, but did state that conversations had already take place with the next highest bidder, and that following the council’s approval, the process could get underway under the new contractor.
The new contractor, which will be heading up the construction of Martin’s $1.5 million sewer plant renovation, is Howard Construction, from London.
Howard Construction’s bid was significantly higher than that Bob White Construction’s, so, according to Summit Engineering, some aspects of the job will have to be cut.
Council members were especially interested to know if the project would help them get into compliance with the state, but were told that while their goal is to get into compliance, the goal of the FEMA grant which funds the project, is to protect their station from flooding.
Construction is set to begin March 11. A pre-construction public meeting will be held on March 6 at 9:30 a.m. at the Martin City Hall.
Mayor Sam Howell said the city is also actively working to get water usage under control. He and several city employees have discovered abandoned homes which still have water meters, including some with broken water lines. Howell said the city is removing those meters and capping the lines, and has already noticed a drop in usage.
Also discussed at the Martin City Council meeting was the community center. According to Howell, the broken flooring had been removed, and they were looking at replacing it with some vinyl flooring. Howell says he expects that the center will be open and ready to operate today.