Waterline project planned for city’s north side


JASPER — An apartment complex, a senior care facility, a business and a handful of homes on Jasper’s north side are in line to benefit from a waterline replacement.

Bids for the work — which would enhance water quality along a 1,600 foot stretch of pipe on Northwood Avenue from about 20 feet off U.S. 231 to the corner of Westwood Boulevard — were opened at Monday night’s Jasper Utility Service Board meeting, and Tim Doersam, the city utilities’ gas and water manager, said he would like to see the project completed by late fall.

“It’s just something we noticed this year that we decided, we’re going to go ahead and jump on this,” Doersam said. “And get it taken care of at this time.”

The old, 6-inch main currently in place was installed in 1956. Doersam explained that the new one will be a 12-inch line that provides better flow.

The quotes received at Monday’s meeting ranged from $218,900 to $351,368, with the low bid coming from Love Excavating of Huntingburg. Those bids were taken under advisement.

Doersam said the water in that area is currently safe and even “above regulations,” but added that when hydrants were flushed in the area, flushing took a little longer than usual due to lime buildup, and one area of the pipe has been corroding.

Doersam said it is the city utilities’ goal to remove old water mains and replace them with new ones in areas where old pipes are aging. He said this project is a proactive move. If they waited too long to complete the work, the pipe could experience “lots of leaks,” Doersam said.

“We’ve got good quality water out there,” he said. “We just want to make sure it’s better for the people.”

Last week, the Jasper Board of Public Works and Safety approved various street closures related to the project. As part of that approval, the intersections of Northwood and Market Street, Leslie Drive, Howard Drive and Westwood Boulevard will be closed as needed, and the roadway will be restricted to two lanes during the trenching.

The contract time period is 60 days, but City Engineer Chad Hurm said that the work will probably take between four and five weeks and begin in mid- to late August.

The board also:

• Opened a quote for a boom truck for the gas and water departments. The low bid came from Sternberg Ford of Dale at a cost of $112,824, after trade-in. Ruxer Ford of Jasper also submitted two bids. Pending a spec review, the Sternberg Ford quote was accepted.

• Opened bids and awarded a winner of a cured-in-place pipe-lining project for the wastewater department, pending a spec review. Granite Inliner of Orleans supplied the low quote. The total project amount will not exceed $170,000.

• Approved replacing two turbidimeters from Hach Company at a cost of $5,363.14.

• Heard that the manhole rehabilitation project bid was awarded to Advanced Rehabilitation Technology at a cost not to exceed $30,000.

• Approved a policy that will be used to collect past-due balances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic began, executive orders have been in place locally and at the state level that waive late payment penalties. That moratorium is set to end on Aug. 14. Beginning at that time, past-due balances will begin being billed out in equal installments over the course of six months. Customers will be responsible for the current month’s balance and the past-due amount. Normal disconnect procedures will resume at the end of August. As the pandemic situation evolves, changes could be brought back to the board.

• Approved agreements with Matrix Integration totaling $10,633.23. That amount covers SMARTnet and telecom care services.

• Approved an arbitrage compliance services agreement with Baker Tilly, in association with the city utilities’ water bond for the water filtration plant. The agreement amount is not to exceed $4,500.

• Approved beginning the hiring process for a new controller.

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