City Council agrees to expedite water line replacement project in downtown Oldsmar

The Oldsmar City Council recently approved a budget revision that will help expedite construction work on the Downtown Water Line Improvement Project, which will replace the aging system in the area south of SR 580 from Park Place (red tab) to Lafayette Boulevard, as depicted in this Google Maps screenshot.

The Oldsmar City Council recently approved a budget revision designed to help expedite the Downtown Water Line Improvement Project.

The Capital Improvement Project was originally scheduled to begin in FY 17/18, which starts in October, but officials said the system is “in urgent need of replacement” and recommended the project begin in the current fiscal year.

The additional amount needed to fund the construction is estimated at $2.3 million, according to officials.

During the City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 6, City Manager Bruce Haddock asked for authorization to advertise for bids on the $2.9 million project, which is would encompass the area south of SR 580 from Park Place to Lafayette Boulevard.

Oldsmar City Manager Bruce Haddock.

“The project’s been under design for the past several months, and the design is nearing completion,” Haddock told the Council, noting they’re scheduled to start receiving bids in August.

“These are some of the oldest water lines still in service in the city,” he added. “A number of them are undersized, it’s primarily galvanized pipe, cement and asbestos pipe, and the project will result in improved water quality, pressure and fire protection for this area of the City.”

Haddock explained the $2.9 million estimated cost of the project was more than had been originally estimated, facilitating the need for the budget amendment.

He also noted the funding would come from the Water and Sewer Fund and one contract would be awarded for all the work.

Oldsmar City Council member Jerry Beverland.

City Council member Jerry Beverland, who lives in the affected area, brought in a piece of ancient, decaying pipe to help illustrate the current state of the system.

“I don’t make many motions,” Beverland said, noting the system was installed in the early 1950s.

“But I would like to make the motion that we go ahead with this project so the Beverlands on Pine Avenue can drink water that does not seep through this thing!”

The water main issue was recently brought to light during a discussion about the Oldsmar Cares expansion project.

Several neighbors of the nonprofit organization located on SR 580 near downtown protested the planned expansion during the June 20 council meeting, noting the increased traffic and visitors to the area would further tax the troubled system.

Later in the evening the Council unanimously approved the budget amendment, with Haddock stating the work would alleviate many of those concerns.

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