published Monday, October 10th, 2011

Kimball sewer repair costs escalate

By Ryan Lewis

KIMBALL, Tenn. -- The phrase "sewer line repair" has almost reached dirty-word status at Kimball City Hall these days.

After the Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a $139,000 sewer line repair project, workers in August encountered major problems at a spot crossing under U.S. Highway 2 that required emergency repairs.

"[The problems were] not this board's creation," Anthony Pelham, an engineer with James C. Hailey & Co., said in September. "It was not anything we could have foreseen. They worked through it, and in my opinion, the contractor did a bang-up job."

On Thursday, the board found out the project would cost an additional $60,000, which was unanimously approved.

James Garrett, a Hailey representative, said the change order included the "final number" to complete the challenging project.

Approximately $50,000 of the change order was for crushed stone that had to be used as backfill over the repaired and replaced sewer lines, officials said, while about $10,000 was for the emergency repairs in August.

Mayor David Jackson said the "emergency situation" required the work to be done immediately and the change order for it approved by the board "after the fact."

"The [contractor] tried everything in the world to get around [the problems]," Alderman Johnny Sisk said. "There was just no other way to do it."

Jackson said the board "didn't really know what we were going to get into" with the repairs on Highway 2, but they knew it wasn't going to be easy.

"Actually, we shouldn't have had to replace this line to start with," he said. "[The sewer line] was not done like it should have been done [in 1995], and we don't have any other choice but to approve the change order."

Pelham recently confirmed that the installation of the sewer line under Highway 2 in 1995 was not completed according to state regulations, and he could find no records that showed who was responsible for the blunder.

Contact Ryan Lewis at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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