City council to discuss multiple contracts with savings - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/25/10

City council to discuss multiple contracts with savings

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By Ben Lawson  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Thursday, the Lubbock City Council takes up several road improvement contracts, and some come with significant savings.  One of the construction contracts council is scheduled to consider is widening Quaker Avenue from 98th Street south to 114th Street.

The proposal is to rebuild the street to seven lanes in concrete.  Voters approved this expansion in November. At that time, the project was estimated to cost more than $7-million, but the final bids came in $3-million under budget.

Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin explains how the downturn in the economy is leading to savings. "We're seeing a lot of interest from construction companies all over the United States, literally, because we have a lot of construction projects available here in Lubbock. With the downturn in the national economy, most of the country there's not activity going on, and having the number of contractors competing for the bids, they're willing to bid the project at cost and sometimes even below cost to keep their employees working," Martin said. 

Martin explained that the city won't have to issue the additional $3-million in bonds to complete the project, so they won't have to raise the tax rate as much to retire the bonds.

Folks in Lubbock could see some more savings, this time in their water rates.  City council is also scheduled to discuss the contract for the new water treatment plant in south Lubbock.  It's part of the water line project from Lake Alan Henry.

City leaders broke ground on the first phase of the pipeline Tuesday. Martin says the cost of the first phase of pipeline came in a little less than half of the estimate. He says the city could save $3-million to $4-milliion on the treatment facility as well.

Thursday, they'll discuss two contracts. One for the water treatment plant and one for large storage ponds incase there is ever a disruption with the actual pipeline. Martin says if the savings trend continues, folks could see savings on their water bills.

"Now we still have two other segments of pipeline and a lot of other construction projects to go, but if we are successful in having similar type bids this next year and a half, it may mean that we don't have to raise water rates in the future as much as we had planned," Martin said. 

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