Mount Pleasant employees save town $100,000 on sound wall project

By Andy Owens
Published June 11, 2014

Three public services employees found themselves receiving a standing ovation at last night’s Mount Pleasant Town Council meeting after residents heard that they saved the town more than $100,000.

The raucous round of applause came after Mount Pleasant Town Administrator Eric DeMoura detailed how Facilities and Grounds Division foreman Jason Hodge and crew leaders Johnny Port and Wayne Potter asked for permission to complete a town project after bids came back higher than they expected.

Mount Pleasant was obligated to apply an anti-graffiti coating to the sound wall on U.S. Highway 17 from Long Point Road to the Beaumont subdivision under an agreement with the S.C. Department of Transportation.

The public service workers sampled different coatings to find the best option for covering the half-mile wall, which helped the town solicit bids from contractors. But when the bids came back at more than $130,000 and included requirements such as using a bucket truck to get to the top of the wall and using complex spraying technology, Hodge, Port and Potter asked for permission to do the work themselves.

“These gentlemen said ‘That’s not good enough. We can do it, and we can do it better, and we can do it cheaper,’” DeMoura said.

Instead of using a bucket truck, which would have required lane closures, the workers used an A-frame ladder. Using other equipment that Mount Pleasant already owned, the workers rigged up a solution that worked as a vertical line sprayer to apply the coating.

The job ended up costing the town $30,000 instead of $130,000, and Hodge, Port and Potter finished the wall in 45 hours. They received recognition as employees of the month at the Mount Pleasant Town Council meeting Tuesday night.

“As a result, it has saved citizens — taxpayers — over $100,000 thanks to their work,” DeMoura said.

Reach Andy Owens at 843-849-3142.

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