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Cape to consider UEP restart

By Staff | Feb 11, 2012

After being put on the shelf for more than three years years, the Utilities Expansion Project may be one step closer to resuming.

A plan will be put forth Wednesday at a special meeting of the City Council at 5 p.m. at City Hall, and although there may not be any shovels of dirt in the immediate future, it looks like a timeline will finally be put into motion.

“The intent is to get something in place so the city gets an idea of what’s coming down the pike,” said District 5 Councilmember Rana Erbrick. “We need to have a definite direction.”

A plan for the UEP, which was halted in September 2008 when the markets crashed, was requested during a workshop meeting on Jan. 18, and one will be presented by Utilities Director Jeff Pearson and Business Manager Michael Ilczyszyn.

Among the topics will be the completion of the Southwest 6 & 7 areas and the development of North 1-8 once the Southwest is finished. That plan is unchanged from previous plans since North isn’t as built out, according to the plan.

“We wanted to reestablish the plan and recommend we keep the existing plan as known previously, just not in chronological order,” Ilczyszyn said.

The recommendation will also discuss the timelines, with North not beginning until 2015; project construction, financing through 20-year bonds; development of the scope of work for formal Requests for Proposal and bidding; engineering issues and staffing which would include hiring six engineering services support staff.

The last recommendation, assessment methodology will be discussed at the next utility workshop meeting set for March 7.

Ilczyszyn said the plan has a timetable for completion. And although total completion is decades down the road, at least there’s a proposed plan of action.

“The plan is to go no longer than two years (on construction of each zone). With nine areas, We should be done by 2031,” Ilczyszyn said. “It’s far out, but we’re back on track.”

District 2 Councilmember John Carioscia, said now’s the time to act while the price tag is still low.

“Interest rates are historically low, construction workers are hungry and looking for work, their profit margins are lower,” Carioscia said. “We need to move forward because businesses shy away from cities with septic.”

While council consensus has already indicated the plan has enough support to pass, there may be some questions about starting up again.

“Some just don’t want it. They’d want outhouses if we let them. There’s pushback no matter what,” Carioscia said.