By Raymond Billy

rbilly@jacksonvilleprogress.com

BULLARD — The Bullard City Council voted Tuesday to move ahead with its sewer project that begins at U.S. Highway 69 and runs through Farm-to-Market Road 344 in the Rollingwood Hills community, even though half of the property owners who would reap the benefits of the endeavor refused to participate financially.

“This is a bill that’s been going on and on and on. And, it’s something we’ve talked about on and on and on — Larry (Morgan, city manager) and myself and Brian Capps (Capco Engineering Inc. owner),” Bullard Mayor A.W. Hines said at the February meeting of the City Council. Hines said Bullard could not afford to continue waiting for financial help that may or may not come.

The city had been counting on participation from property owners on the $500,000 project, which is being partially funded by a $250,000 Office of Rural Community Affairs, or ORCA, grant. The grant, which was awarded to Bullard in July 2007, requires matching funds by the city.

Council members on Tuesday agreed to search for alternative means of funding the project.

“We’ve got several sources we will go to — local banks and other sources to find a low-interest loan,” Hines said.

Council members also agreed to offer financial incentives to property owners who are willing to help fund the project.

Also on Tuesday, City Council voted to enter into a contract with Capco Engineering Inc., which will design the sewer grant project. The item was tabled at the January meeting because Capps said he was uncomfortable moving forward with a venture whose financial status was uncertain.

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