Coming in under budget

Published 8:51 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The bid to resurface and widen South Brundidge Street came in significantly under budget.

Work to resurface and widen South Brundidge Street could begin in early May and, if bids prove accurate, the project will come in under budget.

The Troy City Council on Tuesday awarded the bid for the project to Wiregrass Construction Co., at an estimate of $887,497.89.

“It’s an absolute shock when bids are opened and you’ve got a $1.6 million grant for a project and the first bid that’s opened comes in at $887,000,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford.

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The unexpected lower cost means the city will be able to include some optional repairs in the project. “It does mean we’ll be able to straighten the intersection out at Madison Street,” Lunsford told the council. “We were afraid we wouldn’t be able to award that part of the bid.”

The project calls for the resurfacing and striping of South Brundidge Street from U.S. 231 North to Elm Street, the addition of a traffic signal near the CGI offices and the widening of the street to include a minimum of three lanes throughout its length.

“The project includes 120 work days, and you can average about 10 to 20 work days a month,” said Johnny Witherington, council president. “That means this work could stretch into the summer and possibly into the early fall, since we also have some utility work to be done.”

However, city officials said the project is a much-needed improvement in infrastructure.

Shortly after awarding the bids for the South Brundidge Street project, Lunsford jokingly issued a challenged to William White, director of the Troy Public Library, which is in the process of taking bids for construction of a new facility on Elm Street.

“William, you’ve got your work cut out for you,” the mayor said with a laugh. “We had a $1.6 million project come in under $900,000. Are you going to be able to do that with the library?”

White and architects are holding a pre-bid conference at city hall today to meet with companies interested in bidding on the project. Early estimates have put the cost of the new building at $4 million, which is funded through a series of bonds issued this week by the city.

The council took formal action on Tuesday to finalize those bonds, adopting an ordinance to authorize the issuing of $5.3 million in general obligation bonds, at a rate of 4.95 percent, and $17.87 million in utilities bonds, at a rate of 4.91 percent.

The general obligation bonds are new money for the general fund and will be used for several capital improvement projects, including the library and a new nutrition center. The utilities bonds include refinancing of existing debt and approximately $8 million in new money for upgrades to sewer, water and utility systems.

In other business, the council on Tuesday:

• Appointed member Charles Meeks as the voting delegate to the League of Municipalities meeting.

• Approved the awarding of the beverage concession bid for Troy Parks and Recreation to Coca-Cola Bottling Co.

• Heard an update from the mayor on existing economic development projects.

• Heard from District 3 Councilman Jason Reeves about a special cleanup underway in his district. “For anyone in District 3 doing spring cleaning, the public works department will come and pick up your stuff for free if you call and make arrangements,” he said.