Fixing a hole

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Selma Times-journal

City leaders say Selma’s aging drainage system is the cause of multiple current problems with roadways and will be the cause of more soon.

David Painter, Selma’s Engineer, said the city is working on at least four different projects right now, and the last won’t be completed before the end of August.

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Painter told the Selma City Council on Monday that the project that would cost the most &045; in time and money &045; would be Crescent Hill.

Painter said the contract, which the city will take bids on next Tuesday, will begin early in July and end 45 days later.

Painter said he can’t comment on the price of the project even though he’s completed an estimate of the project’s cost.

Painter said the state requires that the city bids all contracts of $50,000 or more.

Even after the city awards the contract, the cost could still vary as much as 25 percent, because it is a unit price contract.

Painter said potential contractors are required to submit a price on the amount of material used and how much it will cost the city per unit. For example, a contract could submit a bid stating it will cost $50 per ton of earth moved, $75 per yard of concrete used, etc. Therefore, the contract includes a set amount of estimated materials.

The state allows a change in a unit price after the contract is named, Painter said.

The Crescent Hill project is one of four projects, Painter said, it’s the only one that requires the bidding process.

According to Perkins, the city is working to repair what is allowed by law as soon as possible.

Drayton Drive, Mabry Street and Water Avenue all require repairs.

Painter said that Drayton would be the easiest to finish, and city crews are already working on the roadway.

Mabry Street and Water Avenue both require repairs to the drainage system, similar to repairs just completed on Fourth Avenue.

Painter called them point repairs, because they only require repairs on one specific point within the drainage system.

Despite the lack of a bid process, the city still works to get the best price available.

Wade Plumbing did the work on Fourth, Painter said.

According to Painter and Perkins, the reason the city requires so many repairs to its drainage system is because of the unusual amount of rainfall.

Perkins told the City Council on Monday that its possible more roads could wash out.

While all the repairs will be completed as soon as possible, Painter said ultimately, the city would have to look at system-wide repair or replacement to the city’s drainage system.

Painter’s engineer firm, , was awarded the city’s engineering contract for the next year at Monday’s Council meeting. He said the contract included plans to replace the system.