In a special session of the Syracuse Town Council, bids were awarded to H + G Underground Utilities of LaPorte for just under $2 million. The bid was for offsite construction work on the Syracuse industrial and technology park located at SR 13 and U.S. 6.
Cripe Excavating was the winning bidder for onsite work at the park site bidding $887,683.55.
The bids must still be approved by the Economic Development Administration, which awarded a grant to the town of Syracuse for the project. Ken Jones, president of Wightman Petrie, the town’s engineering firm, told the council both companies are ready to mobilize and begin work once EDA approves the contract.
Work is expected to begin in September and be completed by June 2013. It was noted during the meeting both companies have 180 days to complete the work with a $1,000 penalty per day if they go beyond the time allotted without an approved extension.
The council also approved having Syracuse Town Manager Henry DeJulia be the designated representative to sign contracts for the work.
In other council business, public works superintendent Jeremy Sponseller requested permission to hire M.E. Simpson to come in to seek out a leak in the water system. While an increase in water usage is expected in the summer and during the holiday week, the amount reported is huge. Usually the town uses 500,000 gallons of water a day. Latest measurements had usage up to 1.5 millions on Monday.
Sponseller said no water has been found bubbling up anywhere. There have been no reports of pipes bursting or houses suddenly being flooded. The council approved paying M.E. Simpson, which uses sound to locate leaks, $7,875 for five days work, time for the company to check the entire town. Work on finding the leak should begin today.
Council members also received copies of a letter Sponseller received from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Indiana Department of Homeland Security noting the county is under a water shortage warning due to drought conditions.
A water shortage warning is the second most severe stage. A voluntary reduction in current water use of 10 to 15 percent is being requested along with an update of the town’s water shortage contingency plan.