City awards Biewer Sawmill rail spur project

By BRENT MAZE,

The Newton Board of Aldermen has accepted a $1,453,967 bid from Cornerstone Civil Contractors to construct a rail spur for the new Biewer Sawmill in the Newton Industrial Park.

Brian Mayo, who filled in for City Attorney Robert Logan, said the bid the city accepted was revised to a lower amount than originally submitted, but he said they are still anticipating the projected cost to exceed the grant they received for the project by roughly $40,000.

“We’ve talked with (Biewer project manager) Dan Bowen and (owner) Timothy Biewer, and they have agreed to reimburse the city for that overage if there is one,” Mayo said.

Mayo said Logan wanted to remind the city that they would be responsible for the overage if the company were to fail before the money is paid back.

“Robert wanted to make sure that everyone understood the risk involved with that,” Mayo said.

The city had been waiting on the green light from the U.S. Economic Development Authority, the Mississippi Development Authority and others to move forward on the project. Since there was only one bid for the project, all parties had to give approval on the one bid before the bid could be awarded.

In other business, the Board:

• Agreed to purchase a television for the senior citizens building.

• Hired Steve Dove as a full-time certified police officer at $13 per hour and Tyler Sistrunk as a full-time certified officer at $12.50 per hour.

• Will pay Neel-Schaffer $5,257 when funds become available for the land acquisition for an airport improvement project.

• Will pay Neel-Schaffer $16,647 for the airport runway rehabilitation project when funds become available.

• Announced that the bid opening for the Industrial Park road project was held on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m.

• Paid bills totaling $118,645.51.

• Adjourned to go into closed session for about 20 minutes to discuss the need for an executive session. The board returned to open session without agreeing to go into executive session. The agenda indicated that the executive session would be for department heads.

• Recessed its meeting until Oct. 17 at 5:30 p.m.

• Heard from Alderman Eric McCalphia who suggested holding a planning session to plan for future growth.