With the clock ticking, the Sunnyside City Council last night accepted a bid to extend water and sewer lines out to the Monson property.
Monday night's action came during a special meeting in which council accepted a $1.56 million bid from Rotschy, Inc. of Yacolt.
Council had two years ago approved $2 million in bonds to fund the water and sewer extensions and the deadline was approaching to use the funds, Interim City Manager Jim Bridges noted.
The Rotschy bid was the lowest of nine submitted for the project, and came in nearly $750,000 under the original cost estimates for the project.
The project is a large undertaking, encompassing 8,000 feet of new sewer line and 13,000 feet of new water main. Bridges told council that Rotschy has experience in the field, noting the company has done other projects of similar size for the cities of Pasco and Richland.
Besides serving the former feedlot on Yakima Valley Highway, the water main will extend to Outlook Road and then head back to Sunnyside, coming to an end at the New Holland tractor dealership.
The water main will be connected to a new well sunk on the Monson lot. Due to poor water pressure from that well, Sunnyside is considering sinking a new well at a site the city originally tested. Council will take that up at the Sept. 14 meeting.
Meanwhile, the low bid means the city has about $500,000 left over in bond proceeds. Another decision council will face is what to do with those funds, with options ranging from putting it back into other water projects to simply giving the money back.
County residents along the new water main will be offered an opportunity to tap into the utility, but in accordance with city policy will have to pay one-and-a-half times the rate city residents pay. Bridges also said those who hook into city water will be asked to eventually annex into Sunnyside.
Bridges said it will take about five months to complete water and sewer main construction for the Monson property, a now empty lot the city hopes to turn into a business park.
Council voted unanimously to approve Rotschy's bid, with mayor pro tem Jim Restucci abstaining because his wife's family has property in the area where the sewer and water extensions will take place.