Lynnville Highway water line project to start this spring

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Construction on the next expansion of the water system at Cornersville could begin in May, according to Lewisburg's Water and Wastewater Department superintendent.

The water system for that south Marshall County town is owned and operated by the Lewisburg utility since its purchase a couple of years ago. Bids were opened for the project on Feb. 12.

Utility Superintendent Kenneth Carr anticipates a pre-construction meeting next month for the three contractors with the best prices for the job. They were hired last week for the 6.2mile water pipeline extension project. It includes a water tank and pumping station.

The utility's Board of Directors on Thursday unanimously voted to proceed with a $954,772 project to extend water service from Cornersville out Lynnville Highway (State Route 129) toward the Giles County border.

Utility board member Billy Hill moved to proceed with the project as planned. Board member Gary Bolling seconded the motion that passed 2-0 with Chairman Hershel Davis absent because of a death in his family.

The vote was expected since the City Council on Tuesday decided to resolve technical difficulties for a $7 million bond issued in 2002, a problem that developed because the bond's insurance company was overburdened with policies for sub-prime mortgages, and not because of any error by the city utility.

"We will proceed to have the easements signed because almost all of the pipeline will be on private property," Carr said shortly after the board met. "I don't anticipate any condemnation" to acquire utility rights of way.

Residents of that part of Marshall County are interested in getting water service, he said.

"We're going to have an easement signing party at Cornersville City Hall," Carr continued.

That way there will be one presentation and explanation of the project to as many of the prospective customers as possible, he said. About 30 easements are needed.

One of the people who wants water service is Don Benjamin, owner of the Texas T Campground, Carr said, describing the businessman as "ready since the first day we started talking about this."

Now, ironically, "It turns out we're not going to be on his side of the street" with the water main, Carr said of how the project had to be designed for hydraulic reasons. A pipe will be installed under the road to extend to the campground.

The pipeline's cost of nearly $956,000 will be funded with borrowed money that's to be a portion of a bond sale approved by the City Council on Feb. 24. It will also raise money to resolve the problem with the 2002 bond insurance policy.

Three contractors being awarded work contracts for the pipeline extension are:

> Hawkins & Price LLC of Wartrace which bid $560,124 for the pipeline that will be 6- and 9-inches in diameter;

> Lee Adcock Construction Co. of Shelbyville which bid $244,648 for a booster station to pump water, and;

> Crom Corp.'s office in Murfreesboro which bid $150,000 to build the water tank.