Sewer flood repairs in Shamokin, Coal Township completed $400,000 under budget
WEIGH SCALES - Repairs to sewer infrastructure caused by flooding in September 2011 have been completed significantly under budget.
Scott Keefer, engineer for Shamokin-Coal Township Joint Sewer Authority, estimated the final project costs at $831,000. The authority had entered a contract in January with Doli Construction, Chalfont, totaling $1,239,063. That's a difference of more than $400,000.
The final payment was approved during Wednesday's authority meeting.
"At least there's some good news," said Phil Zalar, authority president.
The comment came after an approximate hour-long executive session on change orders and potential litigation concerning the ongoing construction at the wastewater treatment plant, a separate project.
Project deadline on the infrastructure repairs had been Sept. 15. It was extended to Oct. 15 with permission from Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).
All costs are to be reimbursed by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The project included the replacement of portions of the main sewer interceptor line and either repair or replacement of 10 manholes.
In other business
The authority hired attorney Sudhir Patel, of Pottsville, to work on legal matters related to construction at the treatment plant. His rate is $275 per hour. Zalar wouldn't provide any more information on the nature of the legal work.
Progress at the plant is moving very slowly, Keefer said. He said much of the work at the present time is being performed by subcontractors who appear to be understaffed. More than $1.3 million in change orders have been approved to date, which is about 3.4 percent of the total project cost of $40,250,000.
New ways for customers to pay monthly bills are being explored. The option of having automatic monthly withdrawals from checking accounts appears on the horizon. However, credit card payments continue to be researched as current options are considered cost prohibitive.
Paul Petrovich, authority general manager, said the authority's credit rating through Standard & Poor's improved from stable to positive.