The City of Soldotna moved forward Wednesday night with a plan to extend the city's water and sewer main lines to Sharkathmi Avenue north of town.
The proposed project already had been approved by the city council, and Wednesday the city made it official by awarding a contract in the amount of $214,682.50 to North Star Paving and Construction, which submitted the lowest bid for the project.
According to Soldotna Public Works Director Steve Bonebrake, the project will extend the city's main lines from where they currently end near Fred Meyer to Sharkathmi Avenue, located about a quarter mile further north on the Sterling Highway.
The council approved the project last year. However, Bonebrake said the bids the city received were more costly than initially projected, meaning the city had to budget an additional $80,000 for the project.
"They came in a bit higher than we anticipated," Bonebrake said of the bids. "Actually, quite a bit higher than we anticipated."
Despite the higher-than-anticipated cost for the extension, the council voted unanimously to amend the 2003 budget to transfer additional funds for the project. Bonebrake pointed out that some of the cost increase was due to the fact that the pipes will be buried deeper than usual in the ground in order to avoid having to build costly lift stations in the future.
"It will be 22 to 25 feet deep," he said. "It's fairly costly to get that deep."
Bonebrake said he expects the project to go smoothly, though he did say it will be a bit more difficult than a typical line extension.
"It's going to be a fun job," he said.
In other action Wednesday, the council:
n Awarded $500 to the Soldotna High School Future Problem Solving team to travel to the international competition in Storrs, Conn.
n Issued proclamations recognizing the 2003 Soldotna High School cheerleading squad for taking first place at the state competition and the 2003 SoHi girls basketball team for its third-place finish at state.
n Set a public hearing for May 14 to discuss budget revisions to pay for street improvements in the "flower streets" and golf course neighborhoods.
Mayor Dave Carey also read a proclamation recognizing City Clerk Pat Burdick for her hard work and designating April 27 through May 3 "Municipal Clerks Week."
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