SILVERHILL — The town of Silverhill should be back at full water capacity in the next six months after the Silverhill Town Council voted Monday to approve the bid contract to replace the town well, which has been out of commission since October of …
SILVERHILL — The town of Silverhill should be back at full water capacity in the next six months after the Silverhill Town Council voted Monday to approve the bid contract to replace the town well, which has been out of commission since October of 2005.
Town council members voted unanimously to award the contract to Layne-Central, the company initially contracted to inspect the well at a cost of $298,843.
While the town has obtained an ADECA $300,000 grant to pay for the new well, with the addition of engineering fees and fees owed to the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission, who is coordinating the grant application proecess for the town, the town will have to borrow about $55,000 to complete the project.
Bill Van Pelt of Layne-Central told council members at Monday’s meeting that they will not be charged until the project is completed, which is estimated at about 180 days or approximately six months. Van Pelt also said Layne-Central would finance the project if the council could find no other financing.
In October of 2005 the town council voted to declare a state of emergency after the well, located at the Silverhill Ball Park behind Little Hall, was shut down.
Van Pelt of Layne-Central was hired by the council to inspect the well pump after sand was found in the well.
Van Pelt came before the council Oct. 17 saying that upon inspection, the well needed to be replaced.
With the well out of commission, that leaves just one well, located behind the Silverhill Town Hall, providing water service for the town.
By law, the town has to operate at half capacity of 400 gallons per minute. Normally each well provides 200 gallons per minute, but without the services of one of the wells, that means the other well is now forced to pump at full capacity.
Council members decided, in order to allow for future growth, the new well should have a 400-gallon-per-minute capacity.
In addition to financing, the council had the option of rebidding the contract and either go back to a 200-gallon capacity well, or eliminate some unnessary equipment and rebid the project.
Van Pelt told council members at Mondays meeting costs of many materials used for the project were scheduled to increase by May 1 so there was no guarantee rebidding the contract would result in a lower price.
“We certainly can’t build another 200-gallon well for $55,000,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Tim Wilson.
After debating the issue in both the work session and the regular meeting, council members decided to accept the current bid and proceed with the project.
“It’s not just a question of money, but how long the town can operate with just one well,” said SARPC representative Jenny White.
In other business Monday, the council voted to increase tapping fees and water collection fees for the town.
The vote came after nearly two months of debate on the issue, both in regular meetings and special work sessions. The increase would bring the town more in line with what other municipalities charge, council members said.
Among the changes made at Monday’s meeting the council voted to:
— Increase tapping fees from $350 to $550 for in-town residents and from $700 to $900 for out-of-town residents for a 3/4-inch service.
— Increase tapping fees from $500 to $700 for in-town residents and from $1,000 to $1,200 for out-of-town residents for 1-inch service.
— Increase tapping fees from $800 to $1,500 for in-town residents and from $1,600 to $2,000 for out-of-town residents for 2-inch service.
— Eliminated 1 1/2-inch service and the 4-inch service for master meter.
— Increased the collection fee from $10 to $20 for non-payment cutoff and the customer remits payment before cut off.
— Increase the collection fee from $20 to $25 if the service is disconnected for non-payment.
— Added a $20 fee for reconnects performed after 3:30 p.m.
— Added a return check charge of $30.
In other business Monday, the council:
— Passed resolutions 397, 398 and 399 for a 2.5 percent cost of living raise, approved at the April 2 meeting.
— Authorized Chief Alvin Coggins to attend a Chief Conference in Point Clear in May.
— Authorized Superintendent of Utilities Steve Williams to purchase 50 garbage cans, each with a 96-gallon capacity at a total cost of $250. Residents may rent carts at a cost of $3 per month for the first cart, and $2 per month for each additional cart. Council members also voted that if the carts were lost, destroyed, or stolen, it would be the responsibilty of the resident to provide replacement cost for the cart.
— Authorized purchase order forms to be used for purchases over $100. Said purchases require approval by the mayor or, in the absence of the mayor, by the mayor pro-tem.
— Voted to retain Frankie Kucera as chairman of the Silverhill Library Board.
— Authorized Coggins and an officer to attend a free trial preparation class May 21 in Loxley.
— Authorized Williams to spend $535 for spraying at Oscar Johnson Park.
— Authorized Williams to make improments to the bleachers at the town ballpark.