MANSFIELD — The lowest bids for a major water project in the Village of Shiloh came in about $500,000 less than engineering estimates.

Eight bids were opened Tuesday for the three-phase project that includes installing water meters for all village customers; fire hydrant and valve replacement; dismantling the old water tower; and replacing the Main Street water line.

The bids were opened in the Richland County Board of Commissioners meeting room in a session attended by Shiloh village administrator Bryan VerBurgĀ and Mayor-elect Paul Currier, who takes office in January.

Dirt Dawg Excavating from Ashland had the low apparent bid for the majority of the work at $1,696,939. Iseler Demolition Inc. from Port Hope, Mich., had the lowest bid for the water tower demolition at $70,700.

Contractors could bid for the meters, hydrants and water line project; the water tower demolition; or a combination of both.

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The engineering estimate for the total project was about $2.2 million.

Dan Barr with CT Consultants from Columbus, who helped design the project, opened the bids and said he was pleased with the number of contractors offering to do the work.

“I bid a lot of jobs. I feel very happy to get four and we got nine. And the pricing was great,” Barr said.

He said the bids will all be reviewed in the next several days. Contracts likely be awarded in January when funding is secured and the work should begin in March, according to Barr.

The project will be partially funded through $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds awarded by county commissioners and $499,000 through a Ohio Public Works Commission grant obtained with the help of the Richland County Regional Planning Commission.

The village entered a water supply revolving loan account (WSRLA) with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to secure remaining funds needed.

Residents will also see an increase in their water bills to help pay for the work.

Village of Shiloh administrator Bryan VerBurg and Mayor-elect Paul Currier listen during a bid opening on Tuesday.

“We’re glad to have these bids. Being under projections, that’s a great thing,” VerBurg said. “Getting all of this done will be a great advantage for the residents of Shiloh.

“We are glad to have the county commissioners on board with their help and Regional Planning, as well,” the administrator said.

The project was initiated with the support of outgoing Mayor Charles Reeder, who was lauded during the meeting by Lonnie McGhee from the village water/sewer department.

“I would just like to say for the record, the man that spearheaded this from the beginning to the end — and unfortunately won’t be in office when the project comes to fruition — is Rick Reeder,” McGhee said.

“He put a lot of effort in laying the foundation, meeting with regional planning, doing different things and he deserves a lot of credit,” he said.

Commissioner Darrell Banks said the Shiloh project is the kind of effort on which the three-member board likes to spend ARPA funds.

“I think it was what we had in mind and getting the ARPA money to some of the smaller communities was something we wanted to do,” Banks said.

“We’ve seen a big need for this and the people of Shiloh expressed a need and we’re happy that we’re able to help answer it,” the commissioner said.

Richland County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Jotika Shetty echoed Banks’ words.

“We are always looking to help our members, whether big or small, to take advantage of the grant opportunities that are available,” Shetty sad.

“So making sure that Shiloh, especially after we did their income survey and it came back as low to moderate income, and just seeing how much their (water) rates are really higher than compared to the rest of the state, it’s important to make sure that this project happened,” Shetty said.

“It’s a win when everybody comes together and makes sure we can get these projects done,” she said.

Chuck Hahn, Cleveland Financial Group, invests in this independent reporting through a Newsroom Partnership. Learn more about Newsroom Partnerships.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when...