New Site Mayor Phil Blasingame welcomed news the town has $15,000 left over from its water expansion project which could be used for a generator to help with water pressure in Goldville and expansion to Big Woods.

Very little work is left to be finished with the New Site water expansion project and town officials are trying to determine how to use $15,000 left in the budget.

Jeff Harrison with CDG Engineers & Associates said at Monday’s town council meeting the project was originally budgeted but the approval of the $100,000 supplemental loan left the town with the monies to do more within the scope of the project.

“There is great news,” Harrison said. “We have a little left over and can use the funds for most anything still in the scope of the original project.”

The project moved portions of the system’s main pump station at Hillabee Creek and installed a generator for backup power, installed a constant pressure pump so the Goldville part of the system received better pressure, installed 16 fire hydrants and saw every meter replaced with radio read meters. The project even left 126 meters in inventory for future customers.

Discussion on how to use the extra funds centered around a generator for the constant pressure pump and water supply in Goldville and the possibility of using it to expand the system into the Big Woods area which the council has previously discussed.

Months ago the council approved the expanded budget of the project at $579,006.67 and the $15,000 could be added via change order with Ballard Construction which lacks an electrical connection finishing up the project.

The council approved payment of an invoice from architect McKee & Associates for drawing up plans for a new medical clinic and pharmacy next to town hall.

“We approved to start the bid process at the last meeting,” New Site Mayor Phil Blasingame said. “The drawings are to put it out for bid.”

The bid process also requires testing to be done on the soil so information in regards to the ground the building would be built on. The results would be included in the bid information for contracts. The council approved spending up to $2,765 with Carmichael Engineering Inc. to provide the service.

The council is considering helping the New Site Volunteer Fire Department air condition portions of its building.

“They have window units,” Blasingame said. “They have EMS training in there. They have made an official request for help getting air conditioning in the building. We have told them to get some quotes. We have not committed to anything.”

Councilmember Michael East was absent from the meeting.

In other action the New Site Town Council:

• Approved a certificate of deposit (CD) renewal with River Bank & Trust at a rate of 2.15% for 13 months. The current CD is valued at $30,457.23 is with Valley Bank at a rate of 1.85%. Valley and River Bank were the only banks to submit quotes. Blasingame abstained from the discussion and vote.

• Approved guidelines for changing a road names in the town limits. The adopted guidelines are very similar to what is used by Tallapoosa County and require property owners to foot the bill of the name change with 911 and other entities as needed.

• Approved a policy for use of the town’s gym. The gym is to be used only by youth and school teams for practice and the teams are responsible for cleanup.

• Approved 21 as the minimum age requirement for those traveling on trips with the senior center. Councilmembers expressed interests in developing further guidelines for the senior program. Senior program director Jan Kennedy said the center raised $409 at a recent yard sale and were going on a boat ride Tuesday on Lake Martin.

• Learned four of 11 letters sent to property owners on Big Woods Road for easements for water service had been returned to town hall. Blasingame suggested a note to be delivered by town employees requesting an answer so the council could make a decision about expanding service to the area.

• Learned Blasingame will be attending a luncheon at the invitation of state representative Ed Oliver covering the grant process with the East Alabama Planning Commission.

The next meeting of the New Site Town Council is 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.