The money for the work is budgeted as one of nine capital improvement projects.

AUBURN – An engineering contract for a future sewer improvement project was given to a local business by the Sewer District’s Board of Trustees Tuesday.

A $66,285 bid by Taylor Engineering Associates of Auburn for the design of the Perryville neighborhood combined sewer separation project was accepted.

Trustees weighed Taylor’s bid against a $71,500 bid by Wright-Pierce Engineers of Topsham. There was also a bid by Pine Tree Engineering of Bath for $120,000.

Superintendent Norm Lamie advised the board to look at the rates per hour and the amounts of estimated hours in the bids. The bid by Wright-Pierce called for a lower hourly rate but more employee hours than Taylor’s bid.

The money for the engineering work is budgeted. It is one of nine capital improvement projects the trustees allocated $660,000 for earlier this year.

The construction is not currently funded. Lamie said the Perryville sewer separation project could be done anytime between 2004 and 2009, depending on the availability of funds. He said the engineering is being done this year so that if grant money becomes available, the project could be put out to bid quickly.

An unfunded government mandate to comply with provisions of the federal Clean Water Act calls for the elimination of combined sewer overflows and the construction of a system that would prevent wastewater from mixing with storm water. The cost to Auburn is $18.4 million over a 14-year period. About 120 miles of aging sewer mains, some dating to the 1850s, runs beneath Auburn’s streets.

Until 1974 all wastewater from both cities went directly into the Androscoggin River. That changed when the treatment plant in Lewiston came on line 29 years ago.

In other business, the board accepted a $363,008 bid by Longchamps & Sons Inc. of Lisbon to undertake other CSO projects this year.

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