LITTLEVILLE — Mayor Scott Howard said a second round of bidding yielded a lower bid for improvements to the town's sewer system.

Bids were opened Thursday at city hall, Councilman Don Pennington said.

"We got some good bids this time," Howard said Thursday.

Project Engineer Paul Burkhalter of the engineering firm of Goodwyn Mills and Cawood said three contractors submitted bids this round.

The low bid of $531,000 was submitted by Double Diamond Construction of Northport, said Howard.

The bid is significantly lower than the single bid the town received in the first bid solicitation. Howard said that bid was $708,000, which was more than what was estimated.

Burkhalter said the first and only bid came in about $100,000 higher than project estimates. That prompted the mayor to reject the bid and seek new bidders.

"We got it down to where we needed it to be," Howard said of Thursday's low bid.

Robinson and Sons Construction Services of Haleyville submitted a bid of $652,600, while B.H. Craig Construction of Florence bid $684,299.

The town is utilizing a $2.5 million U.S. Department of Agriculture loan to fund improvements to the water and wastewater systems.

In 2018, the town increased water and sewer rates to pay the debt service on the loan. Howard said the USDA will review the bids.

Howard said a meeting of the town council will be called to vote on awarding the contract to Double Diamond.

"They have a good reputation, too," Howard said of the company. "Hopefully, they can get started on it, probably in November."

Pennington said he expects the project to be completed by the first of the year.

"It wasn't as low as we wanted, but it's still in the range where we would work with it," Pennington said of the winning bid.

Howard said the project involves upgrading the sewage treatment facility and adding a new retention pond.

"I will make a recommendation to the town council after we complete an analysis of the bids and a bid tabulation," Burkhalter said.

Howard said improvements to the water system have significantly reduced the amount of water the town was losing through cracked waterlines and worn valves. He said 1,200 new electronic residential water meters were installed.

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