|Workers from Claw Construction ready a cement pipe to be lowered into a trench during sewer work on Gardner Lane. The pace along this part of the road has been slowed because of mud in the trench.|
The sewer projects Price River Water Improvement District has been working on during the summer are proceeding, but mud has slowed down the progress at several sites.
"The projects in Spring Glen and north Carbonville have gone very well and the crews were progressing quickly on the Gardner Lane extension at first," reported district manager Phil Palmer at a regular meeting of the PRWID board Tuesday.
"But then, the contractor hit about five feet of mud in the bottom of the trenches and now they are down to only being able to lay about 60 to 70 feet of pipe a day," added Palmer.
Mud poses one of the biggest problems for contractors and workers who lay pipe.
Mud causes unstable circumstances in the trenches and makes it almost impossible to lay pipe according to specifications.
To mitigate the problem, the contractor must use dump trucks to carry out mud and haul in gravel for the bottom of the trench. The process is an expensive proposition.
Mud has also been a problem at the Bawdenville extension site east of Price.
"At first, the contractor was working with two feet of mud in the bottom of the trench there," said assistant district manager Jeff Richens. "But that has dried up and they are moving along quite well now."
When a contractor runs into mud, Palmer explained it becomes more costly to perform the work that needs to be done and the district often pays the companies for the expense.
"We have agreed to pay for the trucks and drivers they need to clear this problem up," said Palmer. "We have also supplemented the situation by using our own trucks and drivers to haul out mud and bring in material."
The district's contractor still has three other projects to complete: two in the Wellington area and one in south Price.
The areas where the sewer lines have been completed in Carbonville and Spring Glen should see new pavement put down in the next couple of weeks where the road was dug up, said Richens.
In an unrelated matter, the PRWID board discussed the upcoming public meetings slated on Oct. 7 and Oct. 21 regarding replacement of lines in five small water companies in Carbonville and Wellington.
The PRWID board members also passed a resolution to authorize the sale of $1 million in bonds to cover the costs associated with completing the projects.
"The residents of the area that are affected by this replacement will be the ones who will pay for the upgrade," explained Richens.
The district's assistant manager pointed out that the affected customers will pay an additional $16.10 per month on the regular water bills for the next 20 years in order to repay the bonds.
"We have sent letters out to everyone hooked up to the system in those areas informing them of the public hearings on this," continued Richens.
In addition, the water improvement district's assistant manager pointed out that, as the areas in question grow, the payment for the system would be reassessed.
And with the anticipated population growth in the designated areas, the cost per month would go down for existing customers because the new hookups would spread out the expenses to include more consumers.
Once the PRWID board members have heard from the public, the representatives can make a final decision regarding the proposed project.
In the event the project receives approval from the board, bids could be let and construction could begin as early as November.
The PRWID board also heard from representatives of South Price Water Company. The company is all but dissolved, except for several rights of ways that need to be obtained by PRWID.
The water improvement district plans on taking over the South Price Water Company system as well.
The discussion at Tuesday's PRWID meeting centered around finishing the attainment of the rights of ways and closing out the books for the old water company.
Concerns raised by the board, however, led to a discussion about closing out the situation before the rights of ways were completely resolved.
The district's staff members said they have started clearing up the problem and hope to have most of work completed in the next two weeks.
The board passed a motion to wait until the work is completed. The board members will then determine what remains to be completed before issuing a bill of sale to the old company. The bill of sale from the district will allow the South Price Water Company officials to legally dissolve the business.
In a second matter involving PRWID's takeover of smaller culinary systems, the Spring Glen Water Company approached the board about absorbing the operation into the county system as well.
"The company has requested we evaluate their system for takeover," explained Richens. "We need to look at what it would take to upgrade their facilities so that could be done."
The discussion then turned to why so many of the smaller systems in the county are moving toward becoming part of PRWID.
"As for our system, it appears we will not be able to conform with all the new state regulations that are coming down the road," explained Keith Cox, who serves on the PRWID and Spring Glen company boards.
"The good thing about our system is that much of it isn't that old and it was put in by actual engineers," noted Cox. "For instance all the fire hydrants were up to code when they were installed."
In addition, Cox pointed out that the Spring Glen water system is one of the larger ones still operating in the Carbon County area. The company currently provides services for more than 270 customers.
Cox also informed the PRWID board that the Spring Glen Water Company is still paying back the construction loan obtained to install the system in the 1980s. The loan payments are scheduled to continue until 2008.
The water improvement district board members voted to authorize the PRWID staff to evaluate the Spring Glen system.
Acting on unrelated agenda items at the meeting on Tuesday, the PRWID board members:
Voted to give the county's economic development department $2,000 to support activities organized to benefit the Carbon area.
Reviewed an agreement drawn up by PRWID attorney Nick Sampinos concerning the Hill subdivision located southwest of Price.
The water improvement district board will spend several days reviewing the document and contact the PRWID legal counsel with any questions or changes.