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Hartselle rejects bids for sewer at interstate

By Deangelo McDaniel
dmcdaniel@decaturdaily.com 340-2469

HARTSELLE — Believing they can get a better deal, a City Council majority has decided to reject bids for a sewer project near Interstate 65 and Alabama 36.

"We just believe we can get this closer to budget if not at budget," Council President Kenny Thompson said before Monday's work session.

To reach budget, the city will have to trim more than $1 million off the lowest bid of $1.635 million from Morgan Contractors of Baker, Fla. Hartselle budgeted $558,000 for the project.

Thompson said Hartselle Utilities General Manager Ferrell Vest has a company that has agreed to do the project for $750,000.

"There are other possibilities, including changing some of the project," said Jeff Johnson of the Department of Development.

The council will vote Tuesday night to ratify the decision from its Monday work session.

Thompson said the council has no choice about doing this project because the city owns 18.8 acres east of I-65.

About a year ago, Hartselle made a commitment to pay more than $2 million for the property near I-65 and Alabama 36. The agreement with NBC Inc., a family-owned corporation, required the city to pay $550,000 down and $27,669 monthly for the next five years.

City leaders said developers have shied away from the property because it does not have sewer.

Mayor Dwight Tankersley was not at Monday's meeting because he is in Las Vegas at the International Council of Shopping Centers recruiting businesses for Hartselle.

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