LISBON - The next step was taken by Columbiana County commissioners last week for the extension of sewer services about 1,200 feet up North Market Street from the East Palestine village limits to about Wilderson Avenue in Unity Township.
Commissioners awarded the contract to Dave Sugar Excavating at a cost of $123,658. The bid was the lowest of three received. The other two were from JCM Contracting and LEB Contracting.
One commissioner expressed some concerns about awarding the project to Sugar. Commissioner John Payne said two out of the three companies were from Columbiana County and he would prefer the contract be awarded to one of them. Dave Sugar Excavating lists its address in Petersburg, just a few miles north of East Palestine in Mahoning County.
"I have issues with Mr. Sugar's company," Payne said. "There's not a stellar safety record."
After the meeting Payne said he remembered at least one and possibly two instances where employees of Sugar's company died after a collapse. However, he did not want to hold up the project.
Also, Payne could not recall a specific incident and an online search by this reporter did not find any fatalities.
The project is being paid with Community Development Block Grant funding with Unity Township trustees responsible for covering the additional cost.
The project will not reach the new location along state Route 14 where Brittain Motors plans to relocate in about a year. East Palestine is also seeking funding for that portion of the project, which will extend the service as well as bring water service from Brookdale Avenue for the dealership.
Commissioner Jim Hoppel pointed out the project's engineer, Jon Vollnogle, came in and Hoppel recommended he speak with county Engineer Bert Dawson about hiring Dave Sugar Excavating for the project.
"I will defer to their engineer on this," Commissioner Mike Halleck said, agreeing he did not want to hold up a project of importance to East Palestine.
Besides awarding the sewer line extension project, commissioners opened bids for emulsion for chip and seal for the summer. The first bid opened came from Asphalt Materials Inc. of Marietta, which offered the materials for $1,735,800 delivered or $77,400 if the county picks it up themselves.
The second biddder was JASA/Russell Standard of Akron, which bid $1,703,110 delivered and $73,900 if the county picks up the material.
If the county picks up the materials, they can only haul 10,000 gallons at a time. The companies can deliver much larger quantities. The bids will be reviewed and awarded at a later time.