CHAPEL HILL -- A $464,000 sewer extension contract is being drafted by the town attorney after the Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted last week to accept a recommendation from the town's consulting engineer.
New pipe is to be laid from a sewer main in front of Forrest High School northward parallel to U.S. 31-A, Horton Highway, to State Route 99, the Eagleville Highway, where the line turns east and ends before the road crosses a creek.
Construction of the 1.7-mile pipe is to be completed by July, according to Town Administrator Mike Hatten. Some of the work will be on the east side of the highway and some will be on the west side. The difference is because of the width of the utility rights of way and the location of water pipes and fiber optic lines.
The six-inch force-main is to deliver on a plan of municipal services outlined more than five years ago when Chapel Hill annexed territory on the north side of town.
Nine contractors picked up plans for the utility project. Six delivered bids that were opened in Town Hall on Friday.
"That's very good participation," Hatten said. "We feel like a good number of bids came in, but the dollar amount was a little higher than we expected."
The estimated amount for the project was $404,000, Hatten said.
"TDOT (the Tennessee Department of Transporta-tion) will require that all of the project be a no blast project," Hatten said to explain why the apparent best bid was $60,000 more than the estimate.
Other bids were from the following companies at the prices indicated. They may be compared to the exact bid of $464,015 from Dodd Construction of Murfrees-boro.
$517,450 - Prince & Sons Contractors of Tullahoma.
$519,500 - Clanton Paving and Construction, Shelby-ville.
$547,900 - B&W Excavat-ing Co. of Shelbyville.
$582,550 - Contracting Services Inc. of Culleoka.
$717,500 - Norris Brothers Excavating of Crossville.
"There's a huge difference between these prices," Alderwoman Pam Elliott said. "Is Dodd reasonable?"
Consulting engineer Will Owen of Griggs & Maloney, Murfreesboro, replied, "Yes, that's why we say 'apparent best bidder'" after bids are opened and before a recommendation is delivered.
Owen recommended Dodd Construction and that the town hire an independent construction inspector.
Such an official may cost $30 to $40 per hour, or approximately $20,000 to $30,000 more for the project, Hatten said.
However, Mayor Carl Cooper said he concurred with the recommendation.
"We're going to spend the money, but we want to be sure the product is as good as it can be," Cooper said.
Hatten said he hoped that a Chapel Hill-area individual might be qualified for the job and do the work for $12,000 to $15,000.
"If you know someone who can be an inspector," Hatten told the board and public attending the meeting, "we need to know."
Owen said he and others with Griggs & Maloney will work closely with the town and the inspector it hires.
Hatten recommended the board vote to select Dodd Construction as the contractor for the utility project and direct Town Attorney Todd Moore to draft a work contract based on that decision and specifications for the construction project.