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City to revisit sewerage bids

By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER – Managing editor
Brewton's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) sewerage project has been put on hold in an attempt to receive a more feasible bidder for the project.
Brewton City Council members agreed last week during its council session to consider two bid processes for the sewer project, which will rehab Martin Luther King Drive at Bryant Circle and Bryant Street. In late-June, the City received a 90-day extension on the grant so the funds "would not be de-obligated," City Clerk John Angel said. The project is currently in its third phase.
CDG Engineers were in charge of conducting direct negotiations, and engineer Russell Holland was on hand at last week's council meeting to discuss two possible processes the City could choose from. The sole bidder for the sewer project came in well over budget, Angel said, which is the reason why Council members are looking for more options.
According to Holland, the city has two options; re-bid the whole project or consider an informal bid process. To re-bid the whole project would deem a lengthy and expensive process, Holland said. Council members instead, opted to consider the second option, which would allow more flexibility.
By choosing an informal bid process, CDG Engineers would go back and contact contractors the city of Brewton has worked with in the past and work out a negotiating bid. CDG highly recommended this process.
Steps must still be taken by opting for the informal process. The city will still have to advertise for the process, which could take about three weeks. Once the city receives bids the negotiations could take more than a week, and finally a decision would be made in about a month. In all, the entire process could take about three months, and according to Holland, "there's no guarantee."
The CDBG program provides annual grants to entitled cities, urban counties and states in an effort to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment. It also allows for the expansion of economic opportunities, primarily for low and moderate-income persons.