Brundidge plans upgrades

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Brundidge officials took the first step towards a $1.3 million improvement project for its water meter and control system.

The project will include new automated meter reading systems, control valve improvements and installation of new water meters, as well as infrastructure work to equalize water pressure throughout the city. Officials said the project would not increase water rates for residents.

“Do I advocate moving ahead with this project? Absolutely,” said City Manager Britt Thomas. “This is a tremendous opportunity and a good investment. Water is our most precious resource and we should protect it.”

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The improvements will be funded primarily through loans. The city will first hire Polyengineering of Dothan to proceed with the engineering necessary to meet the May 1 deadline for the city’s application for a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan. The cost of the construction engineering will be $62,000.

The city then will apply for a $975,000 low interest loan from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The loan will be used to install an automated meter reading system at a cost of $646,884 and make control valve improvements to the city’s water system at a cost of $125,000.

Thomas also advocated the installation of an automated meter reading system for the city’s electric system.

Thomas estimated that the additional cost to the city would be around $300,000, bringing the total for both projects to $1.3 million.

The benefits to the city, other than the automated meter reading system for the water department, would be evident in the tying in of the city’s water tanks, equalized water pressure throughout the city and improved capacity to fight fires, Thomas said.

“The interest rate for the $1.3 million loan would be, today, 2.6 percent but would be subject to the market on the day the bond is closed,” Thomas said.

In other business, the council accepted an ARRA 52 Lighting Grant Bid of $65,391 for the installation of 125 LED lights to continue the placement of the lights to Southern Classic Foods on North Main Street, to the last light pole on South Main Street and on Galloway Road and S.A Graham Boulevard.

The funds for the LED lighting project were made available from the American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“We were fortunate to get the stimulus money to initiate the LED lighting project,” Thomas said. “Not all of the stimulus money was used so funds were made available again. We received additional funding and are using that money to complete the lighting in areas that were not included in the initial project.

The total project was $81,481. The city’s match was $11,531 and $4,000 of that was in-kind labor and equipment.