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Mabton rejects well drilling bid

MABTON - The city council of Mabton rejected a bid for work on the city's fifth well because it's too expensive.

The city of Mabton received a community block grant from the state for $480,000. City officials hoped this money would cover the complete cost of drilling the well and hooking up to the current system.

"We were thinking it would cost around $200,000 just for the drilling," City Administrator Ildia Jackson said.

The lowest bid the city has received for the drilling is $527,000.

According to Jackson, a couple of demands by the city increased the cost of the project.

City officials have put a tight time frame on the drilling, wanting it done in 50 days. "That added between $30,000 and $40,000 onto the bid price," Jackson said.

City officials also wanted the diameter of the well to be larger than the standard size. This was in case the aquafier level dipped and the well needed to be dug deeper. Having it wider would help with that. It also increases the price.

"This also limited the number of drilling companies in the area because most couldn't handle the size," Jackson said.

Jackson told the city council that if the city takes out the time frame and goes with a standard shaft, the price should come down.

"We'll have to worry about future water problems in the future," she said.

The city will make the necessary changes to the project and re-open the bidding at a later date.

In other news at Tuesday night's city council meeting, the chief of the fire department, Bill Roettger, addressed the board for consideration of splitting the cost of a new fire engine with the county 50/50.

Since the county is buying several trucks, it brings the cost down. The cost of a new fire engine would be $181,000 plus tax.

Roettger suggested to the council that $65,000 could be taken out of the EMS fund and the city would then be responsible for about $35,000. This amount would be payable over three years.

Jackson told the council the city already does this with their aide rig. The county does all of the repair work and maintains the vehicle. Mabton is charged for 50 percent of the costs.

"It's worked out really well for us," Jackson said.

The county will also purchase all of the fire engine's hoses and equipment. The council will make a decision by the next council meeting. If the city goes along with the idea, the truck would arrive sometime in September or October.

"We would never get a good deal like this if we bought a truck on our own," Jackson said.

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