By Stefanie Jackson
Due to the Christmas holiday, Exmore extended the deadline for bids on its well project, enabling Director of Utilities Taylor Dukes to have a recommendation for the town council Monday night.
Anderson Construction, of Lynchburg, Va., bid approximately $1.8 million, and Somerset Well Drilling, of Westover, Md., bid about $2.4 million.
Dukes recommended accepting the low bid from Anderson Construction. Including engineering, the total cost of the project will be about $2.1 million.
The town council has not yet made a final decision on who will be awarded the contract.
Dukes and Town Manager Robert Duer met with U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development representatives last month and learned that funding is available for the town’s upcoming sewer project.
Exmore could borrow money at an interest rate of 2.9 percent, “less than what we’re paying now,” Duer said.
USDA “strongly suggested” the town pay off current debt of more than $500,000 before borrowing again. Duer assured the council that the town has the needed cash available.
Dukes said Exmore has been inundated with rainwater and “we’re treating more stormwater than … sewage,” sometimes up to 100 gallons per minute. “We’re burning pumps up left and right,” he said. It’s a problem that must be addressed before the sewer project can begin, Dukes advised.
He suggested converting about 40 or 50 houses near Virginia Street from a gravity sewer system to a pumped sewer system. Gravity systems require effluent to flow downhill, but pumped systems work well in areas of low elevation.
The affected homeowners would own the pumps, Duer said. “If they own it, they’ll take better care of it,” Dukes added.
Brenda Sample Bailey asked Dukes if all the town’s drainage issues had been identified and how many drainpipes needed to be cleaned out. Dukes said it’s a “townwide” problem and Duer estimated 800 to 1,000 drainpipes need attention, a project that will take two to three years to complete.
By Stefanie Jackson