The Town continues to work on
projects such as the sewer trunk line and Mountain View Road
water line replacements.
The sewer trunk line project was
created as an emergency project in February 2003.
Advertising and bidding requirements continue to delay this
project. Initially, the project was bid and advertised for
construction to begin in June 2004. At that time, bid
packages were prepared and distributed to the interested
contractors. Approximately eight contractors requested a bid
package but only one contractor submitted a bid. This bid
was approximately 300,000.00 higher than the engineer's cost
estimate. Due to the overwhelming cost difference, the
council agreed to reject the bid and have staff meet with
our consulting engineering firm to modify the scope of work
in an attempt to reduce the project cost.
While modifying the scope of work,
staff and our engineering firm incorporated a new design
specification to lower a section of pipe that will prevent
the need for a pumping station once development takes place
and additional connections are added to this line. When
possible, it is in the Town's best interest to avoid the
need for a pumping station and provide ways for our sewer
system to operate at gravity flow without the assistance of
mechanical devices that are subject to mechanical
malfunctions and costly repairs.
The project was re-bided and, for a
second time only one bid was received. This bid was for an
additional 200,000.00 now putting the cost of the project
over 900,000.00. Again, we rejected the bid based on the
project cost and the fact that the contractor could not
start the project within the specified time. The project was
advertised for bids a third time on July 28, 2004 and
approximately six bidders participated in the
pre-construction meeting, these bids are due back August 31,
2004. We hope to have a more favorable bid this time and
begin construction within the next 60 - 90 days.
As for the Mountain View Road water
line project this bid was awarded with notice to proceed to
the contractor. Since that time the State Fire Marshall and
Frederick County department of planning and permits has held
the project up for additional design specs. These delays
were not anticipated; both the State and Frederick County
had a review process, which the agencies signed off on in
agreement. While the above sewer line project can be
complete during the colder months of the year the Mountain
View Rd water line project cannot. The Mountain View Rd.
water line project requires a temporary water line be place
above ground. The State Fire Marshall has signed off on the
project, if Frederick County does not soon released the
plans we will be forced to delay this project until spring
2005 before construction begins.
Both of these projects are very
important to the town and our staff continues to work on
these projects regularly. Unfortunately, the Town is not in
a position to pay for these projects without borrowing some
of the money. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)
is providing the Town with low interest rate loans (less
than 1.5%). When we borrow State money there are many
conditions attached to the loan agreement such as
advertisement requirements, scope of work specifications and
a State review process. In many cases these conditions tend
to increase the amount of time it takes to get a project
under construction and the strict scope of work
specifications may increase the project cost. When State
restrictions are put in place to protect small
municipalities such as Emmitsburg that may not have the
financial means or enforcement power sometimes needed when
projects are not completed as expected.
If you have any questions, please
feel free to call the town office, or e-mail me at email@example.com
Read Past Issues of 'From Mayor Jim's Desk'