Sewer Problems

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 29, 2008

Batesville officials were pleased when bids opened last week came in lower than anticipated. The project will renovate sewer lines along Martin Luther King Street in Wards 2 and 3. On hand for the bid opening were (from left) David Evans of Evans Engineering, Ward 2 Alderman Rufus Manley, Sam Chrestman, Mayor Jerry Autrey, Chris Brocato of Brocato Construction and Ward 3 Alderman Stan Harrison. The Panolian photo by John Howell Sr.

City hopes bid opening first step to repair sewer problems

By Jason C. Mattox

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After a failed attempt to solve sewer problems on Batesville’s Martin Luther King Drive, residents will finally get relief.

City leaders, along with engineer David Evans, opened bids Friday afternoon for a CDBG sewer rehabilitation grant.

The grant is a 50-50 matching grant and is valued at $700,000.

According to Ward 2 Alderman Rufus Manley, the major problems are near Meadowview Apartments.

“The problems started in 2003,” he said. “We had two cave-ins on the line within 100 feet of each other.”

Evans explained the cave-ins were related to clay pipe that was used for sewer projects in previous years.

The apparent low bidder for the project is Enscor at just over $375,000.

Bids for the project ranged from $677,338.95 from Bronze Construction in Memphis to Enscor’s low bid. The second-lowest bid belonged to Greenbriar Digging of Northwest Brookhaven at $498,777.45.

“The grant allows us to go back and change the scope of the project, so we could get more work done as long as it is in the same area,” Manley said.

Evans said he had estimated the project at $650,000, and was happy with the number of bids (eight) received on the project.

“The economy is tight, and people are wanting to work, so we got a lot of bids on this project,” he said.

Batesville contractor Chris Brocato, one of the eight bidders, speculated the job could take as many as 80 days to complete due to the weather.

“If we were getting warm weather, I would say this is a 60-day job, but the weather is going to be a factor,” he said.

Mayor Jerry Autrey, who made a campaign promise to correct the problem with the sewer line, said the project was a collaboration.

“Every person on the board has worked hard to get us to this point,” he said. “We want to do what is best for the people of the city.”