ZACHARY — The Zachary City Council voted unanimously to accept Allen & LeBlanc of Baton Rouge’s low bid of $474,000 to continue work on the municipal sewer system.
Six companies submitted bids ranging as high as $770,000.
According to the bid itemization compiled by Professional Engineering Consultants Corp., of Baton Rouge, the work includes pipe replacement, video inspection of sewer lines, resealing and replacing manhole covers and installing clean-outs to existing lines.
The areas covered by the proposal are the Newell Street Basin and part of Little Farms.
The upgrades represent the second part of a sewer improvement program funded by a $9.3 million state Department of Environmental Quality loan. The city will repay the funds at an interest rate of 0.95 percent over 22 years.
Voters approved the sale of the utility bonds and a gradual fee hike last October.
By 2014, sewer rates will increase an average of $7 per month, while municipal gas and water rates will rise $6 and $9 per month, respectively.
Other matters coming before the council during Tuesday night’s meeting included:
UTILITY FEES: In a 4-1 vote, the council lowered the utility reconnection fee from $50 to $25. The ordinance also adds a $50 charge for anyone who wants water and gas restored after 4 p.m.
“Just to be clear, we’re not going out in the middle of the night. This is for people who pay their bills between 4 and 4:30,” Mayor David Amrhein said.
Councilmen Tommy Womack, Brandon Noel, Francis Nezianya and Dan Wallis voted for the measure. John Coghlan cast the dissenting vote.
PLAN REVIEW FEE: The council voted unanimously to replace the $150 flat fee for review of commercial building plans with a rate of 3 cents per square foot. The minimum fee will be $75.
ANNISON HOUSE: After hearing from Ryan Southall, treasurer of the private Zachary Historic Village Association, the council voted unanimously to put off acting on a proposal to begin the process of revoking the donation of the Annison House.
Southall told the council that the 40-member association has raised donations and spent its own money on the house. The antebellum plantation home is the oldest building in the area, he said.
“The Annison family gave it to us because they couldn’t afford to maintain it,” Southall said.
“We hope that if we give it back, they will sell it to someone,” Mayor David Amrhein said. He said the decision was a difficult one for the council.