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Saputo Sewer Main Project Finishes Under Construction Budget

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The City of Sulphur Springs has closed out the Saputo sewer main project, a project spanning several months but which finished under the construction budget. City officials will soon be submitting all of the documentation and paperwork for the project to the appropriate state authorities as stipulated for the Texas Community Development Block Grant Program funding.

Map showing the Saputo Sewer Main project

This $750,000 sewer project was funded entirely by a Texas Community Development Block Grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture. The new main supplements an older undersized main.

The path of the new main begins at Saputo and continues under the interstate. It then continues south for 3,500 feet before connecting to an existing trunk line, which rings the KSST studio. The new main has a 15-inch inch diameter.

The grant was made possible by a $50 million plant upgrade at Saputo, and their cooperation with the Texas Department of Agriculture. Without their cooperation this project would not have been possible.

“The match on this project was $50 million, by Saputo and they have produced a match of $50 million – $50,661,000, which is over a half million more than what they needed,” said Sulphur Springs Assistant City Manager/Community Development Director Tory Niewiadomski during a final required public hearing conducted at 5 p.m. Dec. 27, 2021, at the Municipal Building to review performance and activities completed under the TxCDBG contract. “Saputo provided 31 new jobs with their expansion, of which 26 were low to moderate income individuals.”

The construction budget was $687,000, and the project finished up under that with $616,000 in construction costs, Niewiadomski said. Another $50,000 in administrative costs go to Ark-Tex Council of Governments, and $12,779 for acquisition of easements. Niewiadomski expressed appreciation for Saputo’s cooperation in the project. Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Lesa Smith expressed thanks to KSST owners for granting the easements needed for the project.

The construction process delayed by a year, began about a year ago. In December 2020, notices seeking bids for five types of materials for the sewer main project were posted. In January 2021, Smith reported receiving materials bids from eighth different companies. Contractors to provide the materials were selected during a special City Council meeting conducted Jan. 21, 2021, via Zoom and streamed on the city’s YouTube channel. Materials had been ordered by the Feb. 2, 2021 City Council meeting, City Manager Marc Maxwell noted in his monthly manager’s report.

Work on the Saputo Sewer Main project progressed from the back and side to wrap in front of KSST studios in June 2021, but frequent rains meant some lost work days and others with frequent stops to scrape this red clay off of equipment.

Construction on the project had begun by April 6, 2021, when a contractor was selected from among five bids for the sewer line bore. The project was 40 percent complete by May 4, 2021. The project was half complete by June 1, 2021, slowed by spring rains; work had commenced around the sides and back of KSST studios and had begun in front of the station at the start of June 2021. Crews had to periodically stop to scrape red clay off red clay, where it has piled up on chains and tires of heavy equipment. The project really took off after that, however, with 80 percent of it completed, Maxwell noted in his monthly manager’s report to the City Council on July 7, 2021.

On Aug. 3, 2021, the Saputo Sewer Main project neared completion. The City’s Capital Construction Division had completed its work, and waited for the contractor to bore under Interstate 30 to connect to the existing system at Saputo. The contractor had finally brought equipment and materials to the project site, but on Oct. 5, 2021, had not begun boring for the last segment of the project. On Nov. 2, 2021, the contractor was reported to have about a week’s worth of boring under I-30 to complete the project.

On Nov. 4, 2021, the project hit a snag when the contractor hit the gas main just outside Saputo, city officials reported at the time. East Industrial Drive was closed to through traffic from just east of the Bill Bradford Road exit off of I-30 to the Bill Bradford Road underpass. Traffic was routed north onto Commercial Services Drive, then onto Como Street, for several hours. Saputo was evacuated while as Atmos, firefighters, city and company employees worked to try to stem the natural gas flow and repair the problem. The roadway was reopened later that evening.

Maxwell, in his manager’s report to the City Council on Dec. 7, 2021, stated the Saputo project was complete except for a final inspection.

On Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, Niewiadomski during the required public hearing at city hall. Niewiadomski gave an update on the project. The next big project will be rebuilding of College Street, in a fashion similar to the rebuild of Connally Street.

Author: Faith Huffman

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