CENTERBURG — A bid of $47,400 for a sanitary sewer replacement project near Ewing Street from R. A. Bores of Monroeville was received by the Village of Centerburg, prompting a mid-month emergency meeting of council Wednesday.

While the bid was below the $50,000 allowed to Village Administrator Joe Hardin for this project by the initial ordinance passed at the last regular meeting of the council, there are concerns the total price of the project may end up exceeding it due to the conditions surrounding one of the manholes. The contractor reported they were concerned about the depth, soil quality and the possibility of groundwater surrounding one manhole and estimated that the material and labor costs for that single manhole, if all went wrong, could be twice as much as the $4,000 – $5,000 quoted. That could bump the final price to more than $52,000.

That manhole, Hardin explained, has already required $25,000 in repairs.

The goal of the meeting was only to authorize Hardin to the point where he could get the order placed for the manholes as those take the longest to fabricate. The emergency motion allowing Hardin to accept the bid, not to exceed the bid amount, passed.

However, Councilmember Greg Myers further listed out different options the village could take to stay within $50,000. These included authorizing the work on the sanitary sewer and manhole update for as much as it needed and budgeting elsewhere in the greater Ewing Street project; having the village purchase all materials directly to avoid paying the contractor’s material mark-up and paying only labor; or paying “by the square foot,” only completing work up to that $50,000 maximum and leaving the rest for later.

During the meeting, Hardin furthered Myers’ points by explaining that purchasing the material may save the village some money, getting everything accomplished and keeping costs under $50,000. He also explained that he had dug a hole and looked at the manhole in question earlier and hadn’t seen any groundwater and is hopeful they can avoid those additional costs.

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Hannah DeVolld: 740-397-5333 or hannah@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @