JASPER, Tenn. - The plan to build a sewer line along U.S. Highway 41 to an area known as Shellmound Business Park has taken another step forward.
The project will make way for construction of a Love's Travel Stop & Country Store near Interstate 24's exit 158.
The Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously recently to award the sewer line construction contract to Green Brothers Construction in Crossville, Tenn., which had the lowest bid.
Both the Marion County Commission and the project's grant administrator will have to endorse Green Brothers, as well, officials said.
Gary Cosby, an engineer with CTI Engineers Inc., said there was "quite a bit of interest" in the job from various area companies, but when he investigated Green Brothers' references he was shocked.
"It was amazing," he said. "I called five or six different utilities, and I've never had a higher recommendation than Green Brothers."
Since the bid for the project came in lower than expected, Cosby recommended the board include three of the bid alternates, which will bring the installation cost to just over $817,000.
Those alternates include increasing the internal diameter of some of the pipe, replacing an existing sewer line near Anderson Ridge and increasing the line's capacity for future tie-ins, he said.
Both Green Brothers and the second-lowest bidder left the same area blank on their bid package submissions, and Cosby said in some situations an error like that can be cause for the bid to be rejected.
"In this case, [the board] is waiving that omission in price as an informality," he said. "Both low bidders said they would do that [line item] of the project at no cost."
Alderman Steve Looney said the support of local residents and business owners has been crucial in helping the sewer line become a reality.
In particular, Looney said Jasper resident Stan Wilson donated 7,000 feet of pipe that will be used to complete the new sewer line.
"I think it's important that we really appreciate what Stan has done for the city," he said. "It's just incredible."
Cosby said Wilson's donation saved the city about $28,000 on the project's cost.