Region 4, Durbin Council gets update on sewer project

Last week, members of Durbin Town Council met with Region 4 Planning and Development Council executive director John Tuggle, Community Project Specialist Lesley Taylor and Hannah Engineering’s Dewayne Hannah to discuss Durbin’s sewer project plan.

Hannah presented copies of the Preliminary Engineering Report and explained the timeline leading to presenting the PER to the USDA [United States Department of Agriculture] for funding and approval.

“This preliminary engineering report is pretty much complete as of today,” Hannah said. “We’ve updated the cost summary and that has increased by $10,000 from the previous cost that we had April 2, 2013. I would like to point out that I did not go back and revise your rates. We agreed that we would take the $10,000 out of contingency, which we have a pretty healthy number in construction costs.”

The contingency estimate is $184,990 and Hannah said it would be easy to take $10,000 from there to put into the construction costs.

After Hannah said he believes he can have the application ready for the USDA by October 10 which will lead to construction beginning in the spring, Tuggle suggested he add some time to the timeline for the approval process.

“Let’s just say you will have it designed by February 10,” Tuggle said. “Your approval won’t come until you get it to [the USDA] and I say that’ll take to the end of March for approval to bid. Usually, they won’t give you approval to bid without a PSC certificate. That would mean, once you get your design completed and the DEP approves it, then you can send it to the Public Service Commission so that would mean mid March.

“You would be sending it to the Public Service Commission – if you can get it through them in ninety days, that would be great,” Tuggle continued. “By the time you get through the PSC, you’re at the middle of June. Once you get the middle of June, then you can bid it. I would put June 15 as a bid target.”

Once the project is out to bid in June, the project will not begin until the fall of that same year.

“One thing that could help speed this thing up, in the PSC part of this, if you got through the ordinance process,” Tuggle said. “If you go ahead within the next couple months and implement those rate increases. Then we wouldn’t have to wait.”

Whether it is before the application is presented or after, the sewer rates will increase in Durbin in order to help cover the costs of the project.

At this time, the sewer rates are $19.50 per month for 2,000 gallons of water.

. The new suggested rate is $26 for 2,000 gallons and $48 for 4,000 gallons.

Councilmembers Mike Vance and Jeremy Bauserman, and mayor Donald Peck said they will discuss the rate increase process with the other members of council and then make a decision.

Hannah plans to send the application to the USDA in October.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

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