KIMBALL, Tenn. — When city leaders committed $750,000 to the Marion County Regional Institute of Technical Excellence for the installation of a new sewer line, there was one variable that concerned them.
The plan called for the sewer line to extend from Industrial Boulevard and underneath Interstate 24 to the new school's site.
Anthony Pelham, an engineer with James C. Hailey & Co. in Nashville, said the one unknown was the existing 8-inch line that had been installed along Industrial Boulevard over 20 years ago.
That line had to be pressure-tested since it had never been used, and Mayor David Jackson said Kimball had set aside $100,000 in case those tests revealed major problems.
The tests yielded "several findings" along the line, Pelham said.
The materials and labor needed to fix the problems will cost $46,322.
Additionally, further cleanup around the site and extra engineering fees will push those costs to almost $53,000.
The Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to approve the change orders to the project.
Using the old line saved the city "a pretty healthy amount" compared to some of the original ideas, Pelham said.
"Contingency-wise, we're still well within the funds we'd set aside," he said. "We'd left a pretty healthy cushion because we had the unknown variable of the line."
Jackson said he was happy the tests did not reveal more costly repairs.
"I think we're lucky that it didn't cost more than $100,000, because it could have," he said. "Whatever is left in that $100,000 will go to the school project for them to use."
Officials estimate there will be between $20,000 and $25,000 left in the contingency fund when the sewer project is completely finished.
The first building on the new Chattanooga State satellite campus is set to open for classes in September, and Pelham said the sewer line is ready for service.
"If Chattanooga State needed service now, it's online," he said. "It was more of a challenge than I'd hoped for, but I'm very thankful that it still came in less than what we'd planned for."
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.