LAMPASAS — The City Council learned Monday that costs associated with installing yard lines for residents in the Hoffpauir Sewer Expansion project could go up substantially and make officials dig a little deeper into the budget if some property owners don’t allow the lines to be installed.
Project engineers from Eckermann Engineering said they have not reached an agreement with all property owners affected by the expansion. Two property owners directly affected by the project noted their objections and have yet to consent to the yard lines.
“We’ve really had no movement on the acquisition of an easement that we feel is pretty crucial to this area,” City Manager Finley deGraffenried said. “We have no idea what the yard lines will cost, and we can’t tell you for sure until we bid the job and can give you a per-foot price, but rough numbers are from $10 to $20 per lineal foot, which is between $46,500 and $93,000.”
The easiest and least expensive plan would be to run new lines through an existing channel and connect to the current lift station. Engineers are considering alternate routes that could add at least $130,000 to project costs, including bypassing the two property owners and re-routing the lines to travel a longer distance or installing a second lift station.
Many Hoffpauir residents in attendance Monday seemed in favor of the project. Some suggested the city consider enforcing the rules of eminent domain and take possession of the two properties whose owners refuse to give permission.
“We could continue negotiations with property owners to mitigate any concerns, as I think the cost to pursue eminent domain would result in an amount into the six figures,” deGraffenried said.
The council will revisit the issue April 8.
In other business, the council approved up to $100,000 in contingency funds to be used for improvements and renovations to the library.