The Hillsville Town Council voted unanimously during its Aug. 26 meeting to delay the water treatment plant project.
Town Manger Travis Jackson said his office had received three bids for the project, but that there was a 44 percent cost overrun that amounted to $374,000. Since the Virginia Department of Health, which was providing the town with the loan for the project, required that any overrun be split 50-50 between the VDH and the locality, Jackson said he thought it was best to postpone the project.
“I asked them if we could put our project on hold and keep the money obligated to the project, and they agreed to it,” said Jackson. “This will give me time to apply for grant funds to take care of the overrun, rather than get an additional loan.”
Since the paperwork for the project had to be submitted by Sept. 23 and the town wouldn’t know until March of next year if it had received a grant for the overrun, Jackson said the delay made sense.
The project is divided into three divisions. Leaving off division 2 would have left the town with a more manageable overrun of $160,000. Division 2 involved work on the tank, which is cracked, and water basin at the water treatment plant.
“We got three bids for division 1 and division 3 of the project, which means we would have to borrow $80,000 to include division 2. I’m not comfortable with that,” said Jackson. “I think it is best we do the entire project at one time, fix it for the long run.”