City Council rescinds offer to purchase Ella Smither campus property
Huntsville City Council moved forward with two major projects at its regular meeting on April 17: one water and one wastewater.
The water project is a plan to build a second elevated water tank that will be slightly larger than the one already built in the central part of the City. That tank holds 2.0 million gallons of water and will also be upgraded as part of the project. The new tank, holding 2.5 million gallons, is planned to be located in the southern part of the City just off Veteran’s Memorial Boulevard near the Spring Lake Subdivision.
City Engineer Y. S. “Ram” Ramachandra reported to the Council that the design of the new tank has been completed and a formal sealed-bid competition has been held to select the construction contractor. Invitations to bid were sent to four pre-qualified contractors, three of whom submitted bids, with the winner being Landmark Structures 1 LP of Fort Worth. Their bid of $4.114 Million was the lowest of the bids and well below the initial engineer’s estimate of $6.0 Million.
This project is to be funded by proceeds from a large municipal bond offering by the City currently scheduled for this June. That offering was authorized by the voters of the City in November 2016 as Ballot Proposition 3 for Water and Wastewater Infrastructure. Construction is estimated to be complete by December 2019 assuming a June go-ahead.
After discussion, Council unanimously approved proceeding with the plan.
Also on the agenda as another Prop 3 project was the first reading of a proposal to upgrade the A. J. Brown Wastewater Treatment Plant located on Highway 19 north of the City. This plant is one of three such plants currently serving the City.
According to Mr. Ramachandra, the City has also completed the design of this project and conducted a competitive bid process for the construction contract. The winner of that competition was Gracon Construction, Inc. of Mesquite, Texas who submitted a bid of $20.8 million. Based on a June go-ahead, construction is expected to be complete by April 2020.
In other business, the Council also held a Public Hearing and the first of two required readings on a zoning petition by a majority of property owners in the Brookview Subdivision in the northwest part of the City. This petition would change the zoning classification for that neighborhood to allow only single-family homes, as is currently the case, and to not allow multi-family homes and commercial enterprises to be built there in the future.
After an executive session the council reconvened in open session to hear a first reading of a proposal for the City to buy 50.6 acres of undeveloped land located on the north side at the intersection of FM 2821 and Rosenwall Road. Interim City Manager Aron Kulhavy advised the Council that the cost of this property would be $998,000.
The Council also voted to rescind an offer that it had previously made to the Walker County Hospital District to buy the Old City Hospital property on 11th Street for $2.25 Million.