Darlington looks for new contractors for stormwater project

DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – Darlington City Council met Tuesday evening to discuss bids for the South West Darlington Storm Water Project. The meeting lasted only 10 minutes. City Manager Howard Garland said council voted to rebid the entire project because the bids they received were higher than expected.

Wilhelmina P. Johnson said she has lived in Darlington for years and wants to see action.

“Whatever’s being done now should’ve been done 50 or more years ago,” said Johnson.

In May, the city received a $445,000 grant to help fund the project. Garland said council projected the cost for the project to be $1.7 million. City Council received two bids: the first had a base bid of $2,147,426 and the second had a base bid of $2,933,701, but neither bid was accepted. Garland said the city didn’t have the money to fill the difference between the bid and the grant.

The stormwater project would allow the city to put pipes in several ditches to help the drainage problem. Garland and Johnson both agreed the drainage issue is nothing new.

“Storm drainage is a problem we’ve had for decades in Darlington and we’re starting to address that now,” Garland said.

Residents who live on Chalmer street said they have dealt with one ditch in particular that they want fixed first. Neighbors said the ditch caused a nasty odor, among other problems, and an increase in mosquitos. Neighbors say the ditch is also a safety concern for children in the area because of its depth.

Johnson said she is happy to see this problem finally be addressed.

“All you have to do is listen to the news and for once you’re hearing some things that should’ve been heard many, many years ago,” Johnson said.

Darlington City Council will meet Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. to rebid the project and a second meeting will be held that evening at 6 p.m. to discuss the bids.