City Council OKs contract for treatment plant work

A Rock Hill company will be in charge of replacing the effluent pumps at the city of Lancaster’s wastewater treatment plant.
Lancaster City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to award the project to Turner Murphy Construction Co. Inc.
For $775,370, Turner Murphy Construction will install four new 150 horse-power pumps, which send water from the treatment plant to the Catawba River.
The city received three bids. The lowest bidder – M.B. Kahn Construction Co. Inc. – asked to withdraw its $639,936 bid after realizing it omitted a line item, City Administrator Helen Sowell said.
The $744,000 bid from J.L. Langston Construction Co. Inc. was “declared unresponsive” because that company completed its bid form with a product that was not pre-approved for use, Sowell said.
The city is using a $450,000 Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce and a $175,000 energy grant to help pay for the improvements. The city is putting $350,000 of its own money toward the project.
The project will cost a total of $922,870, which accounts for engineering, grant management and grant administration.
Mack McDonald, the city’s public utilities director, said the current pumps are about 20 years old and have lost efficiency over time – costing more and more money to operate and maintain.
Brooklyn revitalization
In other action, council voted unanimously to allocate up to $57,2000 for the second phase of the Brooklyn Avenue revitalization project.
Sowell said the city can apply for a second Community Development Block Grant, for $500,000, which would pay for upgrades to a sewerline from 9th Street to Brooklyn Avenue, cleanup in front of the old Springs building on 15th Street, as well as flood and drainage work.
Sowell said the project costs $567,200, which includes $57,200 for engineering fees.
Water reservoir
Also on Tuesday, council members got a presentation about a planned 92-acre water reservoir near the Catawba River.
Mike Bailes, director of the Catawba River Water Treatment Plant, talked about the plans to create the reservoir, which would provide water for 30 days in a severe drought or other “worst-case scenario.” The effort is a partnership between the Lancaster County Water and Sewer District and Union County, N.C.
Each entity plans to pay $15 million for the project. LCWSD will use revenue bonds to pay for its half, Bailes said.  
Mayor Joe Shaw asked if this project could be expanded to include a 60-day water supply.
“We don’t have the property or means,” Bailes said. “We’re maxing out the piece of property we own.”
Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to support the project.
“Very good,” Shaw told Bailes. “I wish you the best.”

By Jesef Williams, Staff Writer with The Lancaster News