Council approves $1.9 million in improvements
by Charles Warner Editor
UNION — The City of Union will use grants and low interest loans to finance more than $1.9 million worth of utility improvements in the Union area and in the Buffalo and Monarch communities.
The four projects approved by Union City Council Tuesday evening include the upgrade of sewer systems in the Buffalo and Monarch mill villages; a section of the U.S. 176 corridor in the Union area; and the installation of new water meters. The projects, which total $1,943,450.44, being funded with loans the city has obtained through State Revolving Fund Loan Program and, in the case of the Buffalo Mill Village project, a Community Development Block Grant.
Buffalo Mill Village
Council voted unanimously to award the bid for the Buffalo Mill Village Phase III project to Smith Backhoe & Construction for $585,225.75.
Utility Director Joe Nichols said the project will involve replacing the sewer lines that serve Pine, Kent, Buffalo, and Yank streets and Fire Lane. Nichols said the lines are more than a hundred years old and in deteriorated condition. He said that not only will they be replaced with new lines, but the new lines will be linked to the homes that will be served by them.
Approximately 30 households will benefit from the upgrade of the sewer system.
Nichols said that approximately 80 percent of the cost of the project will be paid for with a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded the city by the S.C. Department of Commerce. The balance of the project’s cost will be paid for with a loan from the State Revolving Fund which Nichols said will be for 20 years with an interest rate of 2 percent.
When asked by council if this would complete the upgrade of the sewer system in Buffalo, Nichols said there will be at least two more phases in the process. He said the city has already received the environmental clearances from DHEC for both phases.
Industrial Park Road Sewer Outfall
Council also voted unanimously to award the bid for the Industrial Park Road Sewer Outfall project to Cedar Farms & Construction for $723,070.69.
Nichols said the project involves replacing the existing 18-inch VCP sewer which he described as being in deteriorated condition with a new 24-inch line. He said the new line will improve flow conditions of the existing line and provide future capacity for the U.S. 176 corridor when it is necessary to upgrade the Meansville Road Pump Station. The section to be replaced runs from near Medical Science Drive through Bermuda Run to and across Industrial Park Road.
The project is being funded with a loan from the State Revolving Fund which Nichols will also be for 20 years at an interest rate of 2 percent.
Monarch Mill Village
Council voted unanimously to award the bid for the Monarch Mill Village Phase II project to GH Smith Construction Co. for $564,444.
Nichols said the project involves replacing sewer lines on Hancock and Munro streets, Osborne Street and alley, Peach Orchard Road and the alley off Balsam Street. The project also includes water line improvements on Hancock and Munro streets.
This project is also being funded with a 2 percent, 20-year loan from the State Revolving Fund.
In presenting the project to council, Nichols said that the utility department is looking at the possibility of a third phase of sewer and water improvements in the Monarch community.
Water Meter Replacement
Council also voted unanimously to award the bid for the replacement of water meters to Matchpoint Inc. for $70,710.
Nichols said the project is part of the ongoing replacement of the old meters with new ones equipped with the remote read component. The new meters, which the city began installing three years ago, enables utility personnel to read them from their vehicles reducing the amount of time and cost involved.
The meters have been replaced in increments of 500 and Nichols told council in September that approximately 2,300 were left to replace. Council then approved Nichols’ recommendation that the city go ahead and purchase the remaining meters needed to complete the process. The bid for the purchase of the new water meters was awarded by council at its September meeting to Carolina Meter & Supply for $410,602.52.
Nichols said Tuesday that Matchpoint will install the 2,357 meters needed to complete the replacement process.
The purchase of the meters and their installation will be paid for with loans the city obtained through the State Revolving Fund’s “green money” initiative which enables municipalities to obtain loans for water system improvements at an interest rate of only one percent for 20 years.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com
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