Council approves sewer project

Action on a sewer project in the 3rd & Austin area of Borger has been approved.During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Borger City council approved action on awarding a bid from Whitewater Construction Inc. for the Sanitary Sewer Improvements at 3rd and Austin.Jim Harder, Director of Utilities, addressed the council about the project. He said the sewer line from the north end of town comes down Austin Street. At one time, it used to turn west and go across Cedar Street. However, the sewer line is now turned back and goes into the edge of the CVS property and then crosses Cedar Street.Harder said the old manhole that is in the intersection between the turn lanes is in bad shape. He said he is surprised it hasn’t caved in to this point. The City of Borger has been aware of it for a couple of years and is now ready to take action. The solution to this problem is to intercept the line feeding the manhole in Austin Street and construct a new line under Third Street by boring. This would eliminate two manholes which are in the traffic lanes of Third Street.The City of Borger has received a grant for the project, and its share of the costs will be approximately $33,000. Also approved as part of the project was an addendum that will involve lining the existing manhole located in the CVS Pharmacy parking lot.In other business, the council approved an interlocal agreement for electronic voting machines between the Borger Independent School District, Borger Junior College District, Hutchinson County Hospital District, and the City of Borger.For many years, the four entities have been holding joint elections on the May uniform election date. This is done to share election expenses and allow voters the convenience of voting in one location.Eddie Edwards, Borger City Manager, said that federal and state election law requires all local entities to utilize electronic voting machines. For the last several years, the City of Borger has leased machines from Hart InterCivic. The annual lease on four machines was approximately $6,000 per year.Due to Texas Senate Bill 100 that passed during the 82nd Legislative Session, the availability of machines for lease is questionable, Edwards said. In order to guarantee access to voting machines, the City of Borger purchased five machines and related accessories. The interlocal agreement has been designed to equally split the cost of the voting machines between the entities based on the number of scheduled elections during the next five years.Edwards said the total cost of the voting machines was $29,407.40, which was a budgeted item in the 2011-12 equipment fund budget. Under the agreement, the other participating entities would pay the City of Borger access fees amounting to approximately $20,750 over the next five years.City council members attending the meeting were Charles Gillingham, Bubba Dickson, Leon DeWeese, Mayor Pro-Tem Robert Vinyard, and Mayor Jeff Brain.