By JIM MAURER

STAFF WRITER

CAREY — Bids are being sought again for reconstruction of the village’s wastewater treatment plant, after earlier bids received far exceeded the engineer’s estimate.

The project estimate was $9 million, as determined by Jones and Henry, the Toledo-based engineer handling plant design. The lowest bid received Feb. 19 was $11.4 million from Kirk Brothers Construction, Alvada.

State law allows an acceptable bid to be no more than 10 percent above the project estimate.

After review, Jones and Henry determined the firm’s previous estimate was low because of rising material costs. The new estimate is about $10.1 million, according to Johnson.

Bids are being advertised and will be opened at 2 p.m. March 25 in Carey Council chambers.

If the project moves ahead, work is expected to begin this year and take about two years to complete.

Village Administrator Roy Johnson said if bids are over the threshold a second time, then different plans will be considered to meet Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for phosphorous limits. The project has to be under construction by 2020 to avoid possible EPA fines.

Separately, Councilwoman Mellisa Cole, a member of the village’s beautification committee, said the group is moving ahead with a downtown building facade improvement grant program.

The program will match 50 percent, up to $3,000, of the cost of improvements to buildings on Vance and Findlay streets in the downtown business district.

Council previously approved $20,000 for the program and designated the funds in this year’s appropriations, which were approved by council on Monday.

The grants cover exterior improvements such as signs, awnings and “the overall look” of the building. Roof, plumbing, and heating/ventilating/air conditioning repairs are exempt from consideration, and the improvements must be “visible from the street,” according to the guidelines.

Council will have to approve any committee recommendations.

Separately, the South Vance Street sanitary sewer lift station replacement is nearing completion by B Hill’z Excavating, Wayne. Work should be done this week or next.

Also, the equipment order for the electric and water meter replacement will be placed in the next two weeks. Council previously approved the nearly $900,000 project for the automated meter reading system. The work will allow meter readings to be transferred to the utility office for billing.

The village’s planning commission will meet at 7:30 p.m. March 26 to discuss a lot split on Sheridan Drive. There was no indication by village officials on what may locate there if the lot split is eventually approved.

Ted Reinhart, representing The Link, said the downtown organization will host a meeting from 4-7 p.m. March 17 to discuss downtown revitalization and get ideas for the area. If interested, RSVP by calling 567-343-1632 or via email at linkcarey@gmail.com.

Council also requested that legislation be drafted in support of the group which opposes continued operation of Seneca County’s Sunny Farms Landfill, which faces withdrawal of its operating permit because of continued excessive odors emanating from the site, off U.S. 23 about four miles south of Fostoria.

Maurer: 419-427-8420

jimmaurer@thecourier.com

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