Mauney Cove upgrade to cost $574,000

By Vicki Hyatt | Jan 06, 2017
The Mauney Cove collection site is the largest in the county and will be getting an upgrade later this year.

A $574,000 bid to upgrade the Mauney Cove trash collection site took the Haywood County Board of Commissioners by surprise Tuesday, but after an extended discussion, the board agreed to negotiate a contract with Hendersonville-based Cooper Construction.

The bid came in $75,000 higher than anticipated, said David Francis, the county’s tax/solid waste administrator, largely because of extra costs to shore up the swampy ground, required landscaping by the town of Waynesville since the site is within the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction and additional safety options.

Francis said the Mauney Cove convenience center is, by far, the busiest site in the county with an estimated 250,000 visits a year. The expanded site encompasses 1.5 acres, but the collection area will be on .7 on an acre. There will be six compactor units and added traffic lanes above, between and below the compactors to help push traffic through faster, Francis said.

Francis estimated about $100,000 of the project’s total cost is related to addressing the water issues at the site. Core drilling showed the soil is waterlogged and not compactable. A drainage system needs to be installed and the existing soil must be removed and replaced with dirt from the bank at the back of the property. In addition, larger amounts of rock and asphalt will be used to correct the problem.

Last year, the county negotiated a $150,000 contract with landowner Bruce Toy to purchase the needed property to expand the convenience center site and agreed to provide water and sewer services to the home at an additional cost of $19,400.

Commissioner Michael Sorrells, who was the lone commissioner to vote against proceeding on the project, said he was shocked at the price.

Francis said the plan is to build the site not just for the current traffic, but to last for another 50 years.

Commissioner Kevin Ensley said it was important to not skimp on the road surfaces.

“We need  a good strong foundation to make sure we don’t have cracking because those trucks are heavy. I can see why 8 inches of rock and 4 inches of asphalt is good. It’s almost like the interstate. I can see what it costs as much. We’re building these to last and I appreciate that we are doing that.”

Commission Chairman Kirk Kirkpatrick asked about savings that could be realized from changing the plan, perhaps scaling back the number of units or reducing the number of lanes.

Mark Cathey, a senior project manager with McGill and Associates, estimated about $65,000 could be saved, but if it turned out the site is too small, there are apt to be plenty of people unhappy.

Cathey said the earthwork associated with the project will be under the county’s oversight, and said there is a good chance the final price could be lower the $120,000 set aside for the work.

Francis said the plan is what experts say will be needed, not just now, but 50 years from now, and all is ready to move forward.

The board voted to proceed with the contract negotiation with low bidder Cooper Construction. The contract will be brought back before the board for a final vote.