2017-03-20 / Local News

Town seeking more grant money to cover cost increase

By SCOTT POWELL
Ledger Staff Writer

Blacksburg will seek additional state grants to help cover a $64,000 increase in construction costs over the past three years for a project to extend sewer lines along the Highway 5 corridor.

Blacksburg Town Council awarded a $449,410 contract Tuesday evening for Pacolet contractor Tri- County Utilities to build a new pump station and extend sewer lines on Highway 5. The town received a $435,000 Community Development Block Grant in 2014 which was supposed to pay for the expansion project.

Town administrator Charlene Carter sent out a letter Wednesday to the state Department of Commerce requesting additional Community Development Block Grant funds. Blacksburg has already committed $92,000 to meet a 20 percent match required in the grant.

“The project originally cost $385,000 in 2014. The low bid from Tri-County Utilities was $449,410,” Carter said. “Construction costs are significantly higher in 2017. We were under the funding cap when the grant was awarded. We sent a letter today (Wednesday) to the Department of Commerce in hopes that we can receive additional funds to cover our remaining costs.”

Blacksburg plans to complete the Highway 5 pump station and sewer line expansion this summer.

Mayor David Hogue said the project has been in the planning stages for several years and will put needed infrastructure in place for future economic development.

“There are several industrial sites which could tie into the Highway 5 sewer lines once this project is complete,” Hogue said.

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