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The Carthage Press
  • Commissioners choose Lamar company to repair Morrow Mill riverbank

  • A Lamar company has won the contract to repair the north bank of the Spring River at Morrow Mill east of Carthage and remove part of the historic dam that failed years ago.
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  • A Lamar company has won the contract to repair the north bank of the Spring River at Morrow Mill east of Carthage and remove part of the historic dam that failed years ago.
    Bennett Inc., Lamar, had the low bid among three bidders at $64,490 and was awarded the contract at Tuesday's regular Jasper County Commission meeting.
    The other two bids were $82,989.60 from Ellick Garren Excavating, Stella, and $93,000 from CBH Construction, LLC.
    All three bids were well under the more than $100,000 that Michael Malone, a Natural Resources Conservation Service engineer who attended the bid opening, said he estimated the project would cost.
    “We're excited about finally getting the Morrow Mill project going,” said Eastern District Jasper County Commissioner Jim Honey. “We accepted a bid from Bennett Incorporated of Lamar of $64,490 to take out a portion of the dam and fix the north embankment along a home that's in that area. It's been a long time coming.”
    The project is being paid for with 75 percent federal money and 25 percent county funds.
    The project is designed to repair damage from a partial washout of the dam that diverted the Spring River to provide power to the old flower mill.
    The north end of the dam washed out several years ago causing the river to wash away about an acre of ground on private property on the north side of the river.
    Honey said the county and the NRCS, which has designed the repairs and will supervise the work, have both worked with Bennett Inc. in the past and they were satisfied with their work.
    The bid was a lot lower than we expected, I think some $18,000 lower than the next highest bid and lower than the engineer's estimate,” Honey said. “However companies of this type can sometimes work, maybe a little smarter, maybe they've got good bids on the rock. They don't have to drive too far from the quarry. We did check with them and they feel like their bid is good and we're confident that it is a good bid.”
    The erosion was threatening to damage the relatively new bridge that carries County Route 118 over the river.
    The county first sought federal help to repair the washout in 2009, but funds were not available at that time.
    The contract calls  for removing part of the dam and restoring the Spring River’s natural flow and using fill dirt and rock to restore about 400 feet of the north bank, then use large rocks and matting to armor the bank and prevent future erosion.
    Malone estimated earlier in the year the project would take about 10 days to complete once the contractor begins to work.
    Page 2 of 2 - In other business, the Commissioners:
    • Agreed to buy a boom to attach a mower to a tractor for $25,354.
    • Declared a nine-wheel street roller surplus and sold it to the Webb City street department for $5,000.
    • Reappointed John Reeve, Susan Ross, Jim Hayes and Ruth Guzman to the Jasper County Mental Health Board.

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