ST. FRANCISVILLE — With Mayor Billy D’Aquilla on vacation, Mayor Pro Tem Rucker Leake presided over Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, with the materials bids for the water well replacement coming much lower than expected.
Town Clerk Shannon Sturgeon told the board the bid openings were delayed from May 17 until earlier the day of the meeting and the unofficial low bid for replacing the Prosperity Street well was $637,500. Bianca Hillhouse, of Professional Engineering Consultants, had estimated the well replacement cost at $800,000.
Sturgeon cautioned the panel the bid covers only materials and does not include all of the expenses, including some construction and engineering costs. She said the town is still seeking additional funding to pay for the project, including applying for a $35,000 Community Water Enrichment Fund grant.
She said D’Aquilla indicated his sources at the State Capitol predict that funding for capital outlay projects is so tight this Legislative session it’s unlikely any more money will be awarded to the town for the well project or another project that needs completion, the Burnett Road Bridge replacement.
She said D’Aquilla continues to seek funding through grants and other means, and the current design for the replacement bridge may have to be modified to bring down the cost.
Leake also said cards have been mailed to the town’s water customers notifying them that the 2015 Consumer Confidence Report “Water We Drink” will be published in the The Advocate/St. Francisville Democrat on June 2. Copies of the report are also available at Town Hall and by mail.