Ferriday accepts last bid for water fixesPublished 12:04am Wednesday, September 11, 2013
FERRIDAY— The Town of Ferriday accepted the last bid needed for its water system overhaul Tuesday, but officials must now find an additional $300,000 to seal the deal.
The water improvement project was broken up into three separate projects for bidding — switching the city’s water supply from Old River to ground water wells, replacing outdated and non-functioning water meters and improving the town’s water treatment facility.
The Ferriday Board of Aldermen voted to accept a $998,175 bid from Utility Technology Services, based in Ruston, for the new water meters.
The board accepted a $660,048 bid from Watson Well Drilling, based in Bryan, Ohio, for water-well improvements and a $4.1 million bid from Greenbriar Digging Services, based in Brookhaven, for construction of a water treatment facility on Sept. 5.
“As the old saying goes, we’ve come a long ways,” Ferriday Mayor Gene Allen said. “I’m just so happy that we’ve gotten to this day.”
Improvements will be paid through a $5 million grant and $1.4 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The town plans to repay the loan over the course of 40 years and maintain the water system with a $6 increase in water rates, which was approved at the board’s Aug. 20 meeting.
After all the bids were received and engineering, attorney fees and other costs were factored in, the project totaled $7,105,520, which was $305,846 over the initial projected total.
“We’re going to get this money,” Allen said. “We’ve been talking to the USDA to get an additional $300,000, and we’re going to try to get another $100,000.
“But there won’t be any increase of rates or anything like that.”
Allen said he was confident the town would find the additional funds in two weeks to keep the project moving forward.
“We’re crunching numbers as we speak,” Allen said. “We’ll send them all this about the bids (today), and once we have everything else done, we can move ahead with the rest of the project.”