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City OKs plan to replace lines

Elizabethton City Council unanimously approved a construction contract that will lead to the replacement of water lines in the East Side community.
Council approved a contract with Tipton Construction from Bristol for a total contracted amount of $326,227.40. This includes the low bid of $283,676 and a 15 percent contingency of $42,551.40 for unknown underground services. The project will replace six-inch water lines, service connections and ancillary items.
Mayor Curt Alexander questioned if the bid submitted by the contractor was correct, because it was more than a hundred thousand dollars less than the next lowest bid – $410,224 from Thomas Construction in Johnson City.
“It is 30 percent lower than the other bid,” Alexander said. “He had to have left something out.”
Utilities Director Johann Coetzee said all of the bids were analyzed to make sure all the requested items were included.
“There is no evidence this is not a responsible bid,” Coetzee said. “They will sign a contract and they will abide by that contract.”
Council member Nancy Alsup questioned how long the city had been working to replace the water lines in East Side.
Coetzee said the city had been completing some of the work using city crews for the past several months. He said doing some of the work themselves had saved the city labor costs to make the most of the $650,000 state revolving loan fund loan they had been awarded.
“This is the first part of the work that will be done by a contractor,” Coetzee said.
He said the installation of the six-inch water line requires equipment the city does not have.
Council also approved an extension with the contract for the Tennessee Department of Transportation to complete the city’s Linear Path. The contract extends the deadline for right-of-way agreements from July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2015, and the final project completion date from Nov. 9, 2015, to Nov. 9, 2016.
Alexander asked Director of Planning and Development Jon Hartman if this would be the last contract extension before the path is completed.
“This will have to be it,” Hartman said.
The trail has two unfinished sections; one on Race Street and the other extending from behind Lowe’s to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.
Council also approved the Elizabethton Municipal Golf Course and Elizabethton Municipal Airport budgets, and the allocations for charitable and civic organizations for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.