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Athens Utility Director Randy Williams addresses city council about water and sewer projects underway in the city.

The Athens City Council awarded contracts for major water and sewer projects underway on the south part of town, at the regularly scheduled meeting, Monday.

On one of the items, the council passed a resolution awarding a bid to Capps Capco Construction for South 19 lift station improvements and authorized City Manager Elizabeth Borstad to enter into a contract the service at a cost of $281,405.

Utilities Director Randy Williams the lift station is located between the two Andrews Center Buildings and serves Athens Middle School.

"That station has failed and needs to be reconstructed," Williams said.

City Manager Elizabeth Borstad said the project will be funded through the capital improvements plan detailed in the city budget.

Originally, $175,000 was budgeted, but the projected cost has increased.

"Anyone involved in construction right now knows construction costs are absolutely outrageous," Borstad said.

"We saw an increase in the cost of $106,000 from the time we budgeted it.

The extra cost will have to come from money budgeted for other projects in the capital improvement fund.

"I think we're going to have to take a look at all of our estimates in the upcoming year, because it's almost getting to the point where it's unpredictable," Borstad said.

The council also approved a change order for the major water improvement being done on Park Drive, South Prairieville Street and East Clinton Street. This project was funded by a grant from the Texas Water Development Board. The change order allows an increase in the cost by $109,275, Williams said.

The increase is mainly do to an underestimated cost of the street cut needed to install the water line.

"They totaled it correctly for the Prairieville section, but missed the Clinton section," Williams.

Capps Capco is also doing this project.

The Development board awarded Athens $825,000 and $300,000 in loan forgiveness to pay for the water line construction. Borstad said no additional funds will be needed despite the increase in the cost.

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