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Sewer problems dominate RB council meeting

By Staff
Melissa Cason
RED BAY – Red Bay's sewage problems were a big concern during Monday night's regular council meeting.
The council voted to reject bids on the Sunshine Mills Sanitary Sewage Project.
The bids were opened in mid December, but Mayor Bobby Forsythe said both bids were higher than anticipated.
Stovall Contractors of Winfield bid $173,850 for the project, and TKE, LLC in Fayette bid $131,223 for the project.
"This is a $125,000 project," Forsythe said. "I authorized the engineer to have the project re-bid in case the council decided to reject these bids."
The council unanimously rejected the bids. The new bids will be opened on Jan. 15.
"We need to get these bids down to about $109,000 in order to stay on budget," Forsythe said.
Forsythe said that if the new bids come back higher as well, the council might have to consider making changes in the project.
Councilman Brad Bolton said he and the other council members have been concerned about the sewage problems the city is facing.
"Nothing can go forward until we deal with the sewage problem," Bolton said.
Forsythe explained to the council and the audience about the problems with the sewage.
"One problem was the aerators," Forsythe said. "There have been more aerators purchased, but that issue has been dealt with."
Forsythe said other areas of concern are lift stations.
"Red Bay currently has 18 lift stations," Forsythe said. "The city of Florence only has eight. When you have lift stations, you have problems."
Forsythe explained that lift stations are what pump the waste water up hill.
The concern about the sewage comes from a consent order placed on the city approximately 18 months ago for the city to bring the sewer system up to date.
"Because we are under a consent order, ADEM (Alabama Department of Environmental Management) is watching us very closely," Forsythe said. "If things aren't the way they have to be, ADEM can fine the city of Red Bay."
While the sewage system is raising major concerns with the newly elected officials, Forsythe announced the city has applied for an economic stimulus package from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).
"We are hoping to secure a grant for $701,000 to fund our sewage upgrades," Forsythe said.