Leesburg Council approves consultants for CDBG application

Mayor Pro Tem Richard Bush and Council member Judy Powell listen to engineer Chad Griffin from Still Waters Engineering about a proposed sewer improvement project and the Community Development Block Grant application process that would fund the project. (Staff Photo: Rachel Lord)

LEESBURG — The Leesburg City Council approved Bob Roberson & Associates Inc. and Still Waters Engineering as administrative and engineering consultants, respectively, to prepare a Community Development Block Grant to repair outdated sewer lines in the city.

Mayor Pro Tem Richard Bush, council member Billy Breeden and city manager Bob Alexander reviewed two proposals for administrative consultants and six engineering consultant proposals. Based on their review of the various proposals, they recommended Bob Roberson & Associates and Still Waters to the City Council.

If the city is approved for the CDBG grant, both companies will administer and complete the proposed sewer project, which would be concentrated around the Magnolia Street area.

Chad Griffin, an engineer from Still Waters, spoke to the council about the proposed project.

“(This grant has) become even more competitive than it was in the past, so the great thing about this project area is it is a densely populated area, so our cost per beneficiary is right where it needs to be,” Griffin explained. “It’s extremely competitive, and I think we can get all the documentation. We’ve been working with your personnel to try to get sewer backups, work orders, all those types of things. If we can get all that together and document it in the next two or three weeks, we’ll have a good application.”

Some of the sewer lines will be repaired, and some will be replaced. Most of the sewer lines proposed to be repaired or replaced are around 60 years old.

“They’ve served their livelihood,” Griffin said.

Alexander and Griffin explained that they believe there are infiltration issues with the pipes, which only causes more problems.

“All of that becomes more problems at our pump station,” Griffin said. “That all flows to our pump stations. Our pump stations are overworked, and then we’re sending that to our treatment plant. Our treatment plant … has extremely high flow numbers, so we’re looking to try to bring all of that down as best we can. This is the best grant that’s out there to try to work on this type of stuff.”

While some older sewer lines would remain even if the project is approved, the proposal would take care of a lot of the older lines.

“Sewer is a huge issue to always deal with,” Griffin said.

The repaired lines should last at least another 30-40 years, and the replaced lines should last around 40-50 years, council members were told. Griffin said they will conduct video work within the pipes in the next week to show that there are cracks and infiltration stains.

“That video that we’re spending a little bit of money on to help document it will help to show all the problems,” Griffin said.

Council member Judy Powell made a motion to approve the consulting services, and Council member Billy Breeden seconded the motion.

The City Council also approved the calendar for the Fiscal Year 2020 budget and approved an authorization agreement to allow T-SPLOST funds to be directly deposited.

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I'm a Southwest Georgia native, and I have loved writing ever since I was a little girl growing up in Ashburn, Georgia. Now, I get to combine my love of writing with my love for the Southwest Georgia area by writing for the Herald.

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