Better the Second Time Around?

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The first time the water and sewer project for Meridian's new industrial park was submitted for bids, the low bid was $2.7 million, but an error in publishing stipulations caused the city to reject all of them.

City engineer Monty Jackson said, luckily, the second time around the lowest bid was $2.4 million.

"We're very pleased with the lower price that we've gotten. (We) haven't been able to compare prices, unit cost prices, but that cost is what we've got to look at and it being a couple hundred thousand less than the other and we've got some options in there we're going to be looking at when we do the total evaluation of the bids," said Jackson.

Mayor John Robert Smith said the savings, considering built-in options, will be $450,000.

The bid will be presented to the city council next Tuesday for its approval. The city will pay a little more than half the cost.

"The project is being funded through EDA with $1.5 million. The city has sold bonds for $1.6 million, so we've got $3.1 million basically in the bank for the whole project," said Jackson. "This will include the engineering design, water and sewer and an elevated tank."

The sewer will run along Highway 80, then cross to the new treatment plant built for NAS Meridian just off Highway 45. The water tank will be built on Fire Tower Road off Highway 19.

Jackson said construction will probably start the second or third week in April. Two hundred seventy days have been allotted for the project's completion, meaning it should be finished by the end of the year.