By Kim West
The Athens City Council approved a clay tile sewer replacement project for the East Hobbs Street area in eastern and central portions of the city during its regular meeting Monday night at the Athens Police municipal courtroom.
The $700,000 project will be funded through the $1.2 million Wastewater Department reserve fund.
Wastewater Department Manager John Stockton estimated more than 30 miles of city sewage lines need to be replaced, with 17 miles of work remaining after the East Hobbs Street project is completed, which is expected to take up to three years.
“This is a continuation of what we’ve been working on for several years,” Stockton said. “This project will get us close to 17 miles (of sewage line replacement), with about 17 more to go.”
Stockton said a new line will be installed north through the Athens State University property and along McClellan Street.
Another line will follow along Hobbs and Market streets through Big Spring Park, continue on Clinton Street under the railroad tracks on Hobbs and run north on Marion Street to Pryor Street.
He said the city will purchase the materials to lower project costs, while contractors will provide initial manpower. After the contracted work is complete, the city will begin work within 60 to 90 days. City officials anticipate the bids being let in January 2013 for the contracted work.
The intersection of Hobbs and Marion streets will be heavily impacted by the sewer project, which also will require street resurfacing repairs. Ongoing construction of the new city hall and re-signalization will also affect the intersection.
Councilman Jimmy Gill asked Wastewater Department Manager John Stockton during the meeting whether local contractors are expected to be heavily involved with the sewer replacement project.
“Yes, there are a lot of good contractors available in this area,” Stockton said.
Stockton said he expects his department will begin work by June 2013.
The next regular meeting will be 3:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, immediately preceded by a 3 p.m. work session. Council President Harold Wales said the meeting time was changed due to a driving school previously being scheduled in the municipal courtroom.
The council is expected to approve non-mandated appropriations to nonprofits and other community organizations seeking city funds during next Monday’s meeting.