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By PHYLLIS McLAUGHLIN
The Ghent City Commission accepted the lowest of two bids sought to replace a culvert on Ferry Street, from the corner of U.S. 42 to Davis Street. The vote was made during the commission’s regular meeting on Tuesday, June 12.
The motion made by Commissioner Lisa Barr to accept Lykins Construction’s bid was passed, despite a suggestion from Mayor William Mumphrey to table the decision until he could discuss the presence of a water line at the location with officials from the West Carroll Water District.
Martin Excavating of Carrollton submitted the other bid, offering to do the job for $4,130, plus $800 if it needed to move the existing water line to do the work.
Lykins bid $3,040, which included digging the trench for the water company to move and install the line, if needed.
Mumphrey, who acknowledged that the city has had leakage problems with this particular water line for years, said he had not spoken with anyone at the Carroll Water District, which serves Ghent, about the project. He wanted to table the decision to make sure the water company was on board with it.
Darrell Lykins, a Ghent resident who owns Lykins Construction, said he had discussed the project with the water district and was told the district would replace the line if he accidentally damages the line while digging the trench for the culvert.
“They said they’d fix it, if I hit it. And I can pretty much promise I will hit it,” Lykins said.
Commissioner Kenny Barr said he saw no point in tabling the discussion, since Lykins was told that the line would be replaced. “Let’s get her done, go ahead and do it. Get it fixed. It’s not going to cost us anything.”
“It’s not the cost I’m concerned about,” Mumphrey said. “It’s fixing the problem the right way.”
In a phone interview Tuesday, water district manager Obie Cox confirmed that the water line has caused problems for years, and the problem has been brought to the district’s attention in the past year by Cheryl Nohner, who, with her husband, Gary, owns the house downhill from the culvert on Ferry Street.
“This is a unique situation,” Cox said, explaining that the district doesn’t know the exact location of the pipe. As well as being old, he said it is an odd-sized pipe and fittings are hard to find for it.
Cox said the water district would be willing to reroute the line and replace the pipe.
“The only thing we want is a heads-up notice, so I can have someone fairly close to repair it if it’s hit,” he said.