Bladenboro Board of Directors Approves Single Bidder for Sewage Collection System Services

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BLADENBORO – The Bladenboro Board of Commissioners on Monday unanimously approved a motion to enter into an initial two-year agreement with Envirolink to provide preventative maintenance and responsible operator services for the wastewater collection system of the city.

The position of operator of this aqueduct network has been open and open for about a year. Sherry Lanier resigned about a year ago and the former operator of a sewage plant, Lynn Brisson, is a part-time operator in charge.

The city received only Envirolink’s one offer to accept the work, according to city administrator Oryan Lowry.

Envirolink, headquartered in Raleigh, specializes in managing water, sanitation and public works services for customers across North Carolina.

Lowry said he contacted Suez, who has the contract to clean up the Bladenboro water tower, and that the company declined by fax Oct. 7 to make a proposal to the city regarding servicing the waste collection system. waste.

“So pretty much right now, that’s the only proposal we have on hand, with Envirolink,” he told Mayor Rufus Duckworth and the six board members. “We have to keep moving forward to look at Envirolink and maybe, maybe, with the new budget coming from the state and the possibility that we can look at giving a two-year proposal as opposed to a proposal. over five years. I therefore appreciate the advice of the Commissioners.

The city could cut the water meter reading service and the sewage collection service “because our guys can cover them too,” he said. “And that goes back to the original number they gave us in the original proposal. Minus these two services, it was just over $ 80,000.

Commissioner John Bowen then inquired about a previous board meeting, recalling that they had talked about posting the offer on Indeed.com or a similar website.

“And haven’t we received anything?” He asked.

Lowry said Indeed.com is a paid service, so instead he posted the clerk’s announcement on a Friday and the following Monday the city was billed for more than $ 79 for apps. So he posted the post on LinkedIn and the city’s website.

“And no answer?” Bowen asked.

“None,” Lowry replied. “We have listed it on our website for three months now. “

The only two recommendations he received from the state, the city administrator said, were Suez and Envirolink.

Commissioner Lisa Levy then asked if there were other companies that could provide the service or were Suez and Envirolink “the only two games in town…?

Those two were the only companies recommended by the state, Lowry repeated.

Commissioner Sarah Benson asked if it was possible to do a two-year contract rather than a five-year contract.

“I wanted to reach out and see if they would consider two years, at least initially, instead of a five-year engagement,” he said. “… But I don’t expect someone knocking on our door to apply for the vacant position anytime soon. This is the only option we now have on the table.

Duckworth asked how happy the board was and did the commissioners want to see if Envirolink would consider a two-year deal.

“I make a motion if they want to do two years,” Benson said.

Commissioner Stephanie Thurman seconded the motion, and council voted 6-0 to continue a two-year deal.

In another action by the council:

• Council approved a resolution authorizing the city’s request to Four County Electric for funding for the McLean Park outdoor lighting project.

Under the agreement, Bladenboro would have a loan of $ 125,000 over 59 months with no interest charges. Lowry said the repayment could be put in place monthly or annually or “how we want to do it the old fashioned way.”

“Either way, it will be the same. Zero interest is going to calculate the same, ”Benson said.

To receive the funds approved under the resolution, Lowry said, the city must have a Phase 1 environmental site assessment done on the park. The board then approved by a 4-2 vote that the Wilmington Land Management Group do the assessment.

Commissioners Levy and Bowen opposed the motion.

• Levy asked if the city could organize board meetings by phone or video for those who couldn’t attend. Currently, the city does not have this option.

“Again,” she said, “trying to improve communication, to let the city know what’s going on. Get the city to get more involved with us.

• During his director’s report, Lowry told the board that he expects a request for a six-month extension of his Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant. be approved by the end of the month. Lowry said the playground equipment was “about 85 percent complete” and was being installed. A picnic shelter, roofs for canoes and a horseshoe pit, he said, are what is left of the grant.

• Lowry told the board that he will attend an educational seminar on the US bailout this month on the best ways to use the funding for the bill. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides additional relief to deal with the continued impact of COVID-19 on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals and businesses.

As part of its funding, the city received approximately $ 257,000.

The Bladenboro Council of Commissioners will hold their next regular meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on November 8 at City Hall.

This story is written by Michael Futch of the Bladen Journal. Contact him at 910-670-1842 or [email protected]

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