The 2013 city budget line item for sewer system repairs was more than quintupled earlier this month when the board of aldermen agreed to add $35,000 into the fund in order to have necessary monies to fix ongoing problems.

The action during the board’s first meeting in February came on the heels of the city already exceeding its total 2013 budgeted amount for system repairs during the month of January alone.

“We have the funds (in reserve), they’re just not budgeted,” City Administrator Rick Childers told the aldermen. “So I recommend we increase the line item by the $35,000.”

During the 2013 budgeting process, $8,500 was placed in the sewer system repair line item. But, last month alone, four necessary repair projects at three lift stations carried a $13,573 price tag, more than exhausting the budgeted amount.

Public Works Director Ed Bliss said more projects are on the horizon, thus the reason for the financial request.

“The majority of these are maintenance burdens,” he told the aldermen on Monday. “It’s just time to get some of these things fixed.”

According to information he presented during the meeting, Bliss said “worst-case scenario” costs for four needed projects are $19,500. Another $4,000 to replace 800 linear feet of sewer main also was requested. The current $5,073 budget overrun pushed the total amount needed close to $29,000 and the additional $6,375 for televising and cleaning lines at the four locations increases the total needed to near the $35,000.

The additional “problem areas” are at the intersection of North Main Street and Moselle Road, between Hamilton and Cedar streets, east of Cynthia Lane and an area east of Highway PP and south of Highway 30.

Bliss said many of the sewer line problems are because of tree roots in the lines.

“The sewer department recommends televising and cleaning four sewer locations that have reoccurring problems,” he said. “In order to identify and repair the problem, televising and cleaning is required.”

Specifically, work at the four sites and the estimated costs for each are:

•North Main Street and Moselle Road: Remove and replace 180 linear feet of pipe and add a new manhole. $4,000.

•Between Hamilton and Cedar streets: Remove and replace 380 feet of sewer main. Lining may be necessary. $3,000.

•East of Cynthia Lane: Remove and replace 670 linear feet of sewer main. Lining may be necessary. $6,500.

•East of Highway PP and south of Highway 30: Remove and replace 560 linear feet of sewer main. Lining may be necessary. $6,000.

All estimates are using the city’s public works department for labor and include pipe, seeding and backfill.

“If the city contracted out these repairs, the cost would be considerably higher,” Bliss said.

Looking at past budgets, the city spent $30,359 on sewer system repairs in 2009; $57,701 in 2010; $41,732 in 2011; and $19,749 in 2012. Last year, $10,000 was budgeted.