Work to replace the sewer, and possibly water lines, at Center Street is expected to start by the end of the month. The work is part of the city of St. Maries’ water-sewer bond project.

Jesse Herndon, of HMH Engineering, informed the council Monday, Sept. 9, that the sewer loan finally received approval from the USDA in Washington D.C. and is in its final stages of being released.

Mr. Herndon said there is a very slight chance the loan could fall through at this point. He said it was highly unlikely and asked if the council would like to proceed with officially awarding the contract for the water-sewer bond project work to DG&S. The council voted unanimously to approve the contract.

The city received a $500,000 grant for the project and must spend 80 percent of the funds by the Friday before Thanksgiving in order to be eligible to reapply next year.

“So that’s our goal to get as much done as we can before winter,” Mr. Herndon said. “Some of the things we can spend money on are pipes and man holes and different supplies.”

 Mayor Tom Carver said there is a chance the city will not be able to pave Center Street as weather may not allow it. He said the city may only be able to locate and do the sewer lines and then only half of the roadway would be gravel.

“We may not want to tear up the whole street,” Mayor Carver said.

Back in 2017, voters approved a $1.910 million bond for improvements to the city’s water and a $1.355 million bond for improvements to the city’s sewer infrastructure.

Work will be done along Center Street from 13th Street to 20th Street.

In another matter related to roads, the council approved a work order not to exceed $48,000 for relocating utilities along Railroad Avenue. The utilities will be relocated prior to the larger project that is slated for the roadway.

Finally, the council approved a request for a vacation from Todd and Denise Martin for a portion of south 22nd Street contingent on the fact the couple builds a new road to access the sewer line in the area to the city’s standards and deed it over to the city.

All costs for the roadway, survey and deed will be covered by Mr. and Mrs. Martin. In the vote, the council agreed the vacation would not be final until that was complete and decided a year would be enough time for the project to be completed. The timeframe was decided upon as the weather is changing quickly.

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