MOUNT IDA – Mayor Jo Childress and County Judge Sammy Jones watched on as NLS Construction was awarded the bid for a long awaited Mount Ida/Montgomery County water expansion project.
Bidding of the project was a crucial step for a two year project that has stretched to three years.
Mayor Jo Childress was excited to get the project moving forward.
“It’s been a long time coming, but we are finally getting people water.” She said.
Childress explained that the city saw a need for dependable drinking water outside the city limits. After a survey was conducted, they determined that Phase One of their expansion project would include properties located along Highway 27 North, Southfork Road, Silver Hills, Dozier Hollow and Logan Gap Road.
The Mayor shared that her goal was to be able to provide water to every resident in the surrounding area. She hopes to continue water service north to Story and along Highway 298 when the city is ready to implement Phase Two in the future.
As for Phase One, work will begin within 30 days with the residents along Highway 27 North being the first to receive water.
“Highway 27 North will be first, I promised them they would and they will.” Mayor Childress stated when asked where the project will begin.
The Mayor also stated that they will be able to install auto readers on all new connections that are a part of the project. This may prevent the city from having to hire additional staff to read the new meters.
Childress explained that the year delay is due in large part to the collection of easements for the project.
Sealed bids were submitted by five construction companies and were opened, Thursday, July 13, at the Mount Ida Civic Center. A clerical error originally awarded the contract to Hargan Construction, but after an audit of the figures was conducted it was determined that NLS Construction was the winner with a bid of $1,887,484.50.
Landmark Engineering is in charge of the design and construction. Candy Jones will serve as the grant administrator for the project.
The city will use a grant/loan from Rural Development Administration and a CDBG grant from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.
Mount Ida Water Department currently provides water services to approximately 1255 customers. The expansion will provide water to 147 new customers.
Residents and businesses in one of the five project areas can still sign up to be included in the expansion project. There is a $100 connection fee for most tie ins with additional fees required for road bores and other exceptional circumstances.
For questions regarding getting hooked up to the new water line contact Brookie Mayberry at (870) 867-3541.
The project also has funds to help cover the cost of running a service line from the meter to the residence if a person qualifies under the HUD low to moderate income guidelines. To apply for assistance contact Candy Jones at (501) 472-6016.
Story by Dewayne Holloway