The Glen Rose City Council voted to turn back a $250,000 grant awarded by the state for sewer line improvements after not enough residents applied for help.
At a special meeting last Thursday, council members learned that two bids had been submitted - one for $43,000 and one for $13,000 - for a portion of the work. The state had stipulated that the bidders had to submit an invoice tot he city by Sept. 9 for no less than $11,000.
Why the disparity, Councilwoman Sandra Ramsay wanted to know.
"That's a tremendous amount of difference," she said.
And with less than a week to do the work, the council faced a dilemma - take a chance that the bidders would be able to finish that much of the work by Sept. 9; if not, the city would be liable for the amount.
The other alternative was to refuse the money, none of which had changed hands yet.
"We've been working on this for a year," City Councilman Bob Stricklin said. "What's taken so long to get to this point?"
"Applications," City Superintendent Ronald Bruce said. "It takes a property owner to want the project."
Only 31 applicants filled out the paperwork for the sewer lines. The city expected more people would apply for the grant for low- to middle-income residents who were having trouble with the sewer lines backing up due to roots getting into the lines, accumulation of silt or other problems.
Due to the time constraint, council members unanimously agreed not to accept either bid and return the funds to the state.