West valley sewer contract awarded to Sitka company

Posted: Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Juneau Assembly awarded Southeast Earthmovers Inc. of Sitka a $1.6 million contract Monday to extend municipal sewer service to the west Mendenhall Valley industrial area.

Earthmovers' bid was the lowest of three proposals, coming in $970,000 below the project engineer's estimate of $1.6 million to install more than a mile of pipe.

Local landowners last year twice voted down the city's sewer expansion into the West Mendenhall Valley industrial area. Ninety percent of owners originally told the city they did not want to pay the proposed costs.

In February, the Assembly voted to lower fees by as much as 60 percent in an effort to gain approval by the landowners.

City law requires all property within 200 feet of city sewer service to be connected, with some expense going to the landowner. The sewer expansion project includes 20-year, low-interest loans to assist landowners with the expense.

City Manager Rod Swope said the city has since balanced the fee schedule on the North Douglas sewer extension, with the west valley project, by lowering it by as much as 60 percent, too.

"The Assembly felt it was only fair," Swope said.

The cost to landowners connecting to city lines varies depending on the square footage of each parcel and the total usable land, but will cost $200,000 at the high end and $20,000 at the low end.

• Contact reporter Greg Skinner at 523-2258 or greg.skinner@juneauempire.com.

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