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Stormwater project cost is reduced

Connersville Fire Chief Troy Tipton stands with new Capt. Gerald Simpkins, new Lt. Steve Adams and new Firefighter Kyle Buckles (from left), following approval Monday by the Board of Public Works and Safety.

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

Eliminating a flood water drain into the Whitewater River will save at least $135,000 in construction costs. 

A $1,959,679 contract for the Upper Grand Avenue reconstruction project has been awarded by the Indiana Department of Transportation to Dave O’Mara Contractor of North Vernon. The bid is $135,000 lower than the estimated $2,094,900 cost.

The Connersville Board of Public Works and Safety reduced its cost for the project Monday.

The project includes a complete reconstruction from sidewalk to sidewalk from West 24th Street to West 30th Street as part of the city’s mandated sewer separation project. The project originally included an outlet from stormwater from the project area to the Whitewater River under West 24th Street. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the federal Environmental Protection Agency eliminated that portion of the project, cutting the cost.

As a result of the bid being lower than the estimate, the contract for inspection services with Butler, Fairman & Seufert Civil Engineers could be lowered as well.

A timeline will be released later date and a public meeting for residents along the project will be scheduled, said Diana Wright, the city grant administrator.

The Board of Public Works also approved a $3,768,000 contract for the wastewater treatment plant digester, awarding it to Thieneman Construction Inc. of Westfield. The board had opened bids on  Oct. 25, 2018, but had to wait for funding to be approved.

Connersville Utilities Director Mike Bottomley said a preconstruction meeting later this month to develop a construction timeline. 

In unrelated business, the Board of Works approved changes in the Connersville Fire Department. With the recent retirement of Capt. John Harmon from the fire department, the board approved a hiring and two promotions recommended by Fire Chief Troy Tipton. Lt. Gerald Simpkins will become captain; Steve Adams will be promoted; and Kyle Buckles will fill the vacancy created.