Sully’s Scoop

  • Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Q. On the water bill payable in August of 2010, we all were informed of the extra fee and the cost of $5 million dollars for the water line relocation that would last for approximatley 36 months.

That would mean about Aug. 2013 it should stop. However, on the MPW website it shows the costs are expected to be 7.1 million. That would mean a 42 percent cost overrun.

Who is responsible for this and why should the rate payers be forced to carry that bad management and cost control? - Capt. Hans E Hoebeek, Mount Pleasant

A. “After exhausting all efforts to obtain outside funding to cover the cost of the required water line relocations associated with the road widening and improvements project, Mount Pleasant Waterworks (MPW) Commissioners approved a Special Assessment of $3 per month equally distributed between households and businesses. The relocations were required to eliminate interference with the new storm drain piping and other road improvements. However, funding for these relocations was not included in state, federal or town budgets. The construction schedule required MPW Commissioners and staff to develop a funding and relocation plan in short order.

The original estimated cost for this project was approximately $5 million dollars and was developed from limited field investigations conducted by the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

The lines obstructing future development were installed many years ago. The technology we currently use for locating and recording line locations was not available when these lines were installed. As construction progressed more interference was discovered resulting in additional cost. For example, on the Johnnie Dodds Boulevard segment alone, we expected to relocate 1,666 feet of water lines and found an additional 4,073 feet of lines had to be relocated. Such changes along with many others accumulated to more than $1,000,000 in additional cost for just the Johnnie Dodds segment.

In total we had to relocate lines, manholes and meters along 10 miles of road improvements. The total cost came to $7.1 million.

Our crews worked many nights so our customers were not out of water during business hours. There are new lines in some areas that will provide better service for years to come. Although MPW was forced to develop a relocation and funding plan very quickly, our team stayed ahead of construction and did not delay the road improvements that we are enjoying today.” - Clay Duffie, General Manager, Mount Pleasant Waterworks

Q. Who is responsible to monitor all of the plant material that has been installed on Mathis Ferry and Whipple roads? Who is responsible to warranty and replace the approximately 30 dead trees? - Harris Myers, Mount Pleasant

A.“Our Public Services Department is responsible for maintenance of town plantings. We are currently reviewing bids for replacements.” - Eddie Bernard, RLA, LEED AP, ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist, ISA Certified Tree Risk Assessor

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