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Sewer extension project to begin

Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 6:15 am

Construction on the first phase of Fayetteville Public Utilities’ city limits low pressure sewer extension project will get underway in June.

Areas in Phase I include portions of Sherwood/Robinhood Road, Lewisburg Highway, Marrs and Old Mulberry roads, Chenault Ford Road, Dunroamin Lane and Payton Trail.

According to Britt Dye, FPU’s CEO and general manager, the project is expected to be completed around the first of October.

Bids were opened earlier this year, and while the low bid submitted was $684,602 by Josh LeFevre Construction, LLC, the board opted to go with the second lowest bidder, CFW Construction at $742,830, based on recommendations by the system’s engineers, CTI Engineers, Inc., after reviewing all bids. The third lowest bidder was within approximately $4,000 of the CFW bid, officials said.

After not being awarded the project, Josh LeFevre Construction, LLC, filed for a public interest temporary injunction to halt FPU awarding the project. That injunction, issued on April 2, was dissolved on April 18, allowing FPU to move forward with awarding the bid to the next lowest bidder, CFW.

In his order dissolving the public interest temporary injunction, Chancellor J.B. Cox wrote that based upon the court’s review of the report by CTI Engineers, Inc., “ … the second and third low bidders regarding the FPU city limit sewer extension project have been subjected to the same level of scrutiny as plaintiff Josh LeFevre Construction, LLC.”

That information was shared with the board during its regular monthly meeting held on Wednesday of last week. In other business during that meeting, the board approved a resolution authorizing utilization of the Retirement Security (RS) Plan’s pre-payment option. According to officials, prepayment of $2,477,617 to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) retirement fund will result in a cash savings of $268,920 and expense savings of $16,158 for FPU in FY14 and a 25-percent discount in premiums for the next 10 to 15 years.

“I think that’s a good move,” said Micky Lawson, the board member who made the motion to approve the resolution.

“This will save the utilities a lot of money.”

Board member Linda Schoenrock agreed – “If the plan is to keep a pension plan for new hires, I think this is the way to go,” she said.

NRECA announced the voluntary RS Plan pre-payment option earlier this year, allowing co-ops to prepay a portion of future pension plan contributions, controlling costs down the road and ensuring co-ops can meet those future pension obligations.

FPU is now among 471 out of 857 co-ops choosing the pre-payment option, officials said.