In regard to references made in the Dec. 19, issue of you paper about my attendance at Bonifay City Council meeting on Dec. 10, I feel I need to expand on those statements made by me.

Dear Editor,

In regard to references made in the Dec. 19, issue of you paper about my attendance at Bonifay City Council meeting on Dec. 10, I feel I need to expand on those statements made by me.

Is was in attendance at the Bonifay City Council meeting on Nov. 26, addressing some issues in regards to the sewer project that was conducted in 2011, specifically about some observations I had made about depressions — sink-ins, patches, etc., that have been made, and asked what the warranty period on that project was. The Mayor responded and said the warranty period was one year and had already expired. I made mention of some specific locations of some of those depressions, sink-ins, patches, etc.

Then, on Friday, Nov. 30 I observed a crew, on two or more trucks, with a “compactor,” trailer with asphalt, workers with shovels, etc putting asphalt in depressions in Scenic Hill Circle, the street in front of my house, also they worked on Brock Avenue. There was no name on the trucks, and I could no ascertain who was performing the work — I knew it was not City of Bonifay. Again, at the Nov. 26 city council meeting, the Mayor had stated the warranty on the project in 2011 had already expired, so my intention in attending the Dec. 10 council meeting was to ask questions of the council as to who the people were that I had observed doing the repairs, patches, or whatever, with idea of posing questions, that, if it was the contractor of the 2011 sewer installation, then would not that action be a basis for considering some action against the company, but, when I stood to speak to the Council, (at Dec. 10 meeting) the Mayor stated, straightforward to me, “no questions allowed”. So, I still have to wonder who the party or parties were that were doing the work on Nov. 30.

By the fact that, as I have been able to ascertain, that crew filled in “sink-ins” at laterals from the sewer main to four different residences, one on same side of street as my residence, in fact, the next residences south of my residence, two residences south of mine, on opposite side of street, and one residence north of mine on opposite side of street; then, on Brock Avenue there had been at least five “patches” — that is, after the sewer main had been installed, the laterals to the various homes installed, and the street repaved, the new pavement was dug up, I speculate because of problems that had already arisen, corrections made, then the “patches” were made to the pavement, and the crew I observed on Nov. 30 paved over the original resurfacing, and the patches, except that, at the Nov. 26 Council meeting, I had stated there was the makings of a large pot-hole in Brock Avenue where a culvert under the street existed, indicating some failure in the repaving of the street, and that breaking of the street is still there. So, again, speculation on my part, I thing in terms of the construction company that did the 2011 sewer project was, those who did the “patches” on Nov. 30.

But, again, I was denied being able to ask the question. And, as I was making my statements, I cited an experience that my wife and I had at a home that we had built on in 1962 at 810 North Oklahoma, St., in Bonifay. When the homes were built, there was no sewer access available and we had to build a septic tank. And some time between then and 1970, a sewer project, by action of Bonifay City Council, was initiated, and the mandate was that all residences adjacent to the project had to connect to it  — we did, and the citing I made was that more than a year passed when we experienced our commodes backing up. And, as I cited, after the third occurrence I went to the Mayor, citing our unpleasant experiences, and the Mayor told the maintenance foreman to go, find the cause, and fix it, whatever it too.

And, as I stated, the crew found that the main sewer line down Minnesota Avenue that was supposed to connect to a manhole at Oklahoma Street, lacked 12 to 15 inched connecting, caused by lack of inspectors doing their job, the construction crew doing the work, looking for sundown and payday, covered up the failure, and it took time — probably a year or more for the sewer main to fill up with backed up sewage until it reached where our residence connected, then backed up commodes, this reference being cited by me, to connect with the 20112 sewer project, that it would take time before the problems would begin showing up — the “sink-ins” that I had cited, that were patched over, I contend present possibility that the sinking of the pavement could, or would, impact on the lateral connecting the residences to the main sewer line, and the laterals of rigid PVC, not made to bend, flex, etc., could wither break, pull loose at a joint, or could pull loose from the sewer main and that, again, would take time for the line to fill with blocked up sewage, and reach back into the residences and the backed-up commodes, etc. would present  them selves, but, as I was getting to the point of making that association, the May stopped me by saying “You’ve said enough”, and my address to the council was abruptly halted.

And, some figures that I had developed, from the Bonifay City Clerk in preparation for addressing the Council on Dec. 10 – the company that sis the 2011 sewer project was “Blankenship Construction” and the contract was for $2,680,684. Also, the current sewer project that is now on-going is being done by Royal American and contracted for $4,078,220.

At the Nov. 26 Council meeting, I had stated that I wondered if the 2011 sewer project had created any improvement in the Bonifay Sewer System. It was stated, emphatically, by the City Engineer, that the system was better. In statements and articles in paper, as I recall, the Bonifay City Council engaged services of a company that had capabilities, by use of cameras, lines, etc., to run those cameras through the sewer system lines and present the specific location of breaks in the system. And, I stated at the Nov. 26 meeting that I questioned that there was any failure in the Scenic Hill Circle Street sewer line, except that, when that line was installed the street was unpaved. Later, a Bonifay City Council of the past, had the street paves, but, they failed to have the manholes being raised, or the pavement being lowered, that would allow access to the manholes, and I suggest that was the only reason for the line bring replaces. And I could suggest other streets that are in that same category.

My point being, in having stated the preceding, is that I wonder, considering the six and one-half plus, million dollars that has been obligated — and, again, the information provided me by Bonifay City Clerk, is that amount is a loan — not any of the “free” money, meaning that we — the residents of Bonifay who use and pay sewer charges each month, and recall that at out set of the 2011 project, the monthly sewer fee was raised by $5 to pay for it, could not have been, again using the “videos” of the pre-2011 sewer system, been addressed by the City Engineer and the employees, for a lot less money and the outcome have been as good as will be after all has been said and done.

I speculate that I am wasting my time in attending the council meetings and writing this letter, but, looking at the world situation- the nations such as Italy, France, Spain, Etc., and their financial plight, the United Sates and the “fiscal cliff” that is so prominent in the news today, all of which, from my viewpoint, has been brought about by “politicians”, internationally, nationally, sate, down to local governments, having no self constraint, as they do in respect to their personal finances, have an attitude of “lets get it – its only money- tomorrow will take care of the payback” but, I’m concerned about “tomorrow” and the “piper” is going to have to be paid. I thank you, Mr. Editor, if you do print this letter.


Ray Brooks