Blueprint to offer $13M in construction contracts

Advertisements for six construction bid packages worth about $13 million to bring waterlines to Braceville, Southington, West Farmington and Farmington will be issued Monday, according to the Trumbull County deputy sanitary engineer.

Known as the Blueprint Waterline Initiative project, the infrastructure upgrades will bring county water to residents of the townships and village. About 299 residents on the route have expressed interest in the project, said Gary Newbrough, the deputy sanitary engineer.

“We have got a lot of good feedback from the community. In the surveys we sent out, we received a lot of comments back saying, ‘thank you, we have a desperate need for water.’ So we are very pleased we can help those people out,” Newbrough said.

As long as 75 percent of those people follow through, the capital charge on the customers’ new water bill is likely to be between $20 and $25 per month, although calculations are still being made, Newbrough said. If more sign up, and they can at anytime, the capital charge will go down, Newbrough said. The length of time the capital charge will appear on the bill is dependent on the final cost of construction, Newbrough said.

The new county water customers also will be responsible for a water bill, which is likely to average about $45 a month, Newbrough said. The cost to connect from a home to the new line will vary from household to household based on the distance from the road, the soil type, the water table and landscaping, Newbrough said. But there is financial aid available to households that qualify — a Community Development Block Grant will pay for income eligible people to connect, he said.

The bids will be accepted until March 16, and the office will take about two weeks to finalize the contract before requesting the project’s loan award in April from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Newbrough said.

Construction, while dependent on the contractors, could begin April. Most of the six parts of the project are expected to take under a year to finish, but a new water tank in West Farmington is expected to take about 450 days to complete, according to the bid specifications.

Because the project is so massive, it was broken down into six parts in order to attract a large field of bidders to chose from, Newbrough said.

Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith said the project wouldn’t have been possible without a fruitful collaboration between his office, Trumbull County commissioners, the township and village officials, the Ohio EPA and the area’s state lawmakers — Ohio Sen. Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta, and Ohio Reps. Glenn Holmes, D-McDonald, and Michael O’Brien, D-Warren.

The project is funded with an Ohio EPA loan that forgives 75 percent of the total cost.

“It is hard to measure how this project will affect the lives of the people who will benefit from it. But, trucking water in, pulling it from a cistern, being unable to drill a well on their property… it could be a substantial impact for many people,” Smith said. “And to be able to to shutter the outdated water plant in West Farmington, it will be a great economic benefit to them and let them move on to focus on sanitary sewers and growth in other ways,” Smith said.