Pelham to rebid Chandalar water line replacement project

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Pelham City Council will re-bid a project aimed at cutting down on the number of water line breaks in the Chandalar subdivision after the initial bids for the project came in much higher than expected.

The city is working with the Municipal Consultants firm to develop a plan to cut down on the number of water line breaks in the southern part of the Chandalar subdivision, and previously sought bids to replace an about 2,000-foot section of PVC water pipes in the neighborhood with iron pipes.

Chris Cousins, with Municipal Consultants, previously said it likely would cost the city about $255,000 to replace the 2,000 feet of pipe along Chandalar Lane and install pressure-regulating pumps on several side streets and cul-de-sacs in the neighborhood.

However, a high concentration of underground rock in the area drove the low bid amount up to about $856,000, Cousins told the council during its July 2 work session.

“That’s quite a bit higher than we anticipated,” Cousins said. “The only way to get that number back down would be to drastically cut back on the scope of the project.”

The $255,000 would cover the cost of replacing about 800 feet of water lines in the subdivision, Cousins said.

Because the scope of the project has changed, council members said they would be in favor of rebidding the project. Once the new bids come in, the council could award one as early as mid-August.

“You’re talking about three to four weeks to potentially save the taxpayers half a million dollars,” said Councilman Steve Powell.

Council President Teresa Nichols said the council will work in the future to develop a “comprehensive plan” aimed at replacing all of the city’s outdated water lines.

In other business, the council heard from Pelham resident Laura Ford, who expressed concerns over the removal of Pelham police officer Carrie Bowman as the Pelham school resource officer.

“She looks after those babies like no other,” Ford said. “We need someone in the schools that they love and they trust.”

Powell said Bowman will still teach the DARE program in schools, and said she has been temporarily moved to another area of the department to cover for four officers who are completing long-term injury rehabilitation programs.

“This is a temporary situation,” Powell said.