Rain slows start of Frederick Heights project

WELLSVILLE — The tentative starting date for the Frederick Heights waterline project has been pushed back to Monday.

During this week’s Buckeye Water District board meeting, BWD Director Al DeAngelis said the project contractor is expected to begin work July 22. Board President Mike Ryan pointed out that Yarian Brothers was supposed to start July 8 but they have yet to drill any test holes.

“We’ll find out what’s happening Monday,” DeAngelis said.

After the meeting, DeAngelis said Yarian Brothers told him the reason for the delay is the recent series of heavy rains has slowed their ability to finish other projects they were working on.

Yarian Brothers was awarded the contract in early June after submitting the low bid of $850,000. The contract requires the work be completed by Nov. 4, and DeAngelis does not see them having a problem meeting the deadline.

The project calls for extending an existing BWD trunk line 1.6 miles from Ruby Drive north along Old Fredericktown Road to the entrance to the Frederick Heights housing subdivision in St. Clair Township. The second phase of the project, to begin next spring, involves running secondary waterlines into Frederick Heights.

The project is expected to bring municipal water service to more than 90 homes that currently rely on wells.

During the BWD meeting, the board voted to borrow $963,761 from the Ohio Water Development Authority to pay for the first phase of the project. OWDA provides loans for public water projects at below-market interest rates, but officials do not know how much that will be just yet. The loan will be repaid with money generated by tap fees and user fees charged residents.

The BWD is also seeking federal and state grants for the project, which would lower the amount needed to borrow from the OWDA.

Speaking of grants, DeAngelis reported they received approval for a $250,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia to fund the second phase of the Frederick Heights project. The second phase is expected to cost about $1 million, but the actual price will not be known until bids are sought.

Finally, the board agreed to purchase a 2019 Ford F-250 4X4 regular cab pickup truck for $26,785 from Tri-State Ford in East Liverpool. The truck was obtained through the state purchasing program.