Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

July 11, 2014

HPWA board mulls bridge project issues

HULBERT — The Fourteen Mile Creek Bridge project has run into another set of issues which were brought to the Hulbert Public Works Board of Trustees attention Thursday night.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has said it will accept project bids for the project without consulting with the city, which is footing the bill.

“They can’t expect us to pay for something we did not approve,” said Trustee Kenneth Fore.

Fellow board member George Truitt agreed and said the city would need to consult with their lawyer.

“This is a public trust we are talking about,” said Truitt.

The bridge project, which could take up to three years, will have to be funded at least in part up front, according to the report given to the board.

The ODOT also wants to move the highway portion of the project, but the Corps of Engineers have said it needs a new injunction for the change in location. Both have expressed to the Hulbert Public Works that their authority is to handle the situation.

“Sounds like we’ve got a real catch-22,” said Truitt about the situation.

They are also putting forward another natural gas bid to be discussed in a special session on July 28.

The board also discussed a discrepancy in the reported water levels between the amounts measured by the public works authority and the billing agency.

Truitt said it is possible the meter is reading incorrectly because of turbulence near the meter.

“If that distribution meter is off, we need to fix that,” said Truitt. “Half of what we produced is going to waste.”

The water in Hulbert has been having issues with taste caused by an algae growth much worse than in previous years.

“The water is perfectly safe to drink, but it has a bad taste,” said Ricky Lee, who reported on the city’s water condition.

Lee said the water tower was cleaned out and each tank has been cleaned with a greater regularity than in years past.

Truitt said the increase in algae growth may be due to the cooler weather this summer leading to a better environment in the water for the algae to grow in.

WHAT’S NEXT

A special meeting of the Hulbert Public Works Authority will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, July 28, in the town hall building in Hulbert.

svanwyk@tahlequahdailypress.com

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