Access road project approved
by James Phillips
May 08, 2013 | 1354 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Construction on an industrial access road leading into the new HTNA facility will soon begin after the Jasper City Council approved a contractor Tuesday.

Bids were recently opened for the project. Keith Strickland, an engineer with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood Inc., said two bids were received — Good Hope Contracting at $770,000 and Robertson Excavating at $783,000. Strickland said some of the documentation in the Good Hope bid was not signed and notorized, which led to the bid being rejected.

“We really had no choice due to state bid laws,” Strickland said.

Strickland recommended the city approve the bid from Winfield-based Robertson Excavating, which council members approved unanimously.

The city has been awarded $570,000 to build the road, which is an extension of the current Industrial Way, by the Alabama Department of Transportation’s Industrial Access Board.

“There is a gap there to make up,” Strickland said. “We can approach the industrial access board committee and ask them to award additional funding to make up for that gap. They have done this in the past, and I feel strongly we have a good opportunity for them to do that again.”

Strickland said the city would ask for at least $250,000 more to make up the funding gap and cover inspection costs.

David O’Mary, chairman of the Jasper Industrial Development Board, expounded on the importance of the road project.

“This project needs to be wrapped up quickly because HTNA’s construction is wrapping up,” he said. “Their expectations are to have this road finished when production gets under way. The opportunity we have with HTNA cannot be derailed in any way. It is just too important for this community. It is the brightest star shining from an employment standpoint. We have to get the road taken care of.”

O’Mary also suggested the JIDB could look at funding options for the road.

Strickland said he felt the request to the industrial access board could be approved before the JIDB or the city have to pay for the difference on the project.

“You have $560,000. You have the money to go ahead and start the project — you don’t have to pay 100 percent up front,” he said. “We pay him monthly according to progress. Hopefully we will have the additional funding by that time.”

Mayor Sonny Posey recommended to the council that moving the project forward was in the city’s best interest.

“It is imperative this be completed within a certain time frame, because certain other projects hinges on this project,” he said.

Council members voted unanimously to begin the project immediately.

In other action, the council:

• Reappointed Walker Wilson and Willie Moore to the Jasper City Board of Education.

• Reappointed Christy Moody to the Jasper Public Library Board.

• Approved the closing of a portion of 24th Street West between 13th and 14th avenue on Saturday, June 8, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a wedding.

• Accepted a bid from Hagar Oil to provide the city’s grease, oil and lubricants.

• Approved a request to enter into an agreement with Gorrie Regan to replace current time clocks and software with an initial cost of $4,925, which will be offset by cost savings in the first year.

• Approved a budget amendment for $6,300 for the Jasper Fire Department to purchase radios and supplies.