Bids awarded in massive water projects

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, March 4, 2014

For the first time in its history, the Selma Water Works and Sewer Board will replace all of its water meters at once.

The Selma Water Works and Sewer Board accepted two different bids Tuesday to furnish and replace all water meters for its customers.

The bid to furnish the meters was awarded to Consolidated Pipe and Supply, of Tallassee. The bid was for approximately $1.6 million. The bid to install the meters went to Mitchell’s Contracting, based in Wilcox County. The board accepted a third bid from Dixie Painting, of Andalusia, to repaint a 500,000-gallon water talk in Selfield Industrial park.

“I’m glad that the bid went to a company in Alabama,” water board member Lee Goodwin said. “The company that got the bid to furnish the meters will provide the same meters that are in the ground now.”

The city’s engineering consultant, Ray Hogg, said the total cost of all three bids came in approximately $70,000 below budget.

The water board plans to pay for projects with a $2.56 million loan from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. Half of the loan will be forgiven, meaning the board will not have to pay approximately $1.28 million, according to Hogg.

“The new water meters will bring Selma into the 21st century and make the water board much more efficient,” he said. “It won’t only be in the amount of man hours required, but also in the data and information they collect.”

The new meters will also provide more accurate readings, he said. As water meters get old, they often measure less than the actual usage, Hogg said.

The bid package includes approximately 8,300 water meters. Hogg said the meters can be read electronically from approximately four city blocks away.

Hogg said Consolidated Pipe would furnish the meters in 30 to 60 days. The deadline to install the meters is 180 days. The water tank’s completion date is approximately four months.

“I anticipate those being completed well in advance of the deadline,” Hogg said. “We set those deadlines to take into account things such as weather.”

Once Mitchell’s Contracting beings installation, Hogg said customers may experience a brief interruption in service — no longer than an hour — for workers to install the new meters. The installation will occur during working hours to affect as few residents as possible, Hogg said.