Pauls Valley Democrat
Bringing water from the city lake in Elmore City to its residents may still be part of the distant future, but it was at a special meeting the next crucial step was taken.
Held during a morning session Wednesday at city hall, it took city council members less than half an hour to announce they were ready to open the refurbishment for the old water treatment plant up for bids.
Never a doubt with what ended in a unanimous vote of support, discussion focused more on reminding everyone how things will be handled moving forward.
“We’ve got everything put together. We’ve got the plans, specifications, we’ve come down to talk to you about how to proceed,” said Robert Mullins, project engineer with Mehlburger Brawley.
“We’re ready to advertise it.”
Made possible after repeated delay, it was back on July 6 when the Department of Environmental Quality gave the final OK on the remaining permits needed to proceed with the facility, according to City Clerk/Treasurer Lisa Rollings. It basically left any kind of work in limbo until now even though it was in 2011 when the permits were applied for.
All of the work will be broken up into individual line items that can be bid on separately and while this means more than one company could end up being involved in restoration, it also means that they can seek out a way to make certain parts more affordable instead of having to accept a price they are not comfortable with, said Mullins.
This created some confusion with those like Mayor Larry Cleveland when Mullins added how some things could be added later with a question if there would be enough funds to complete the project.
Mullins then replied that getting the plant up and running with the most essential pieces should not be a problem, but that it would be close since he could not guarantee what bidders will submit.
The only thing he said could make it cost significantly more is if they have to replace several of the pumps and valves, instead of being able to use the ones still in the old plant.
“My concern is when we get into these types of projects we don’t know what the bids will be. So I did bust it up so once we get bids you can pick and choose and see what you want to do,” said Mullins.
“This is so we won’t be at the mercy of the contractor at the end.”
Also voted on and followed with unanimous approval was the formal acceptance of a Southern Oklahoma Development Association community development block grant through the Oklahoma Department of Commerce for about $245,000. This will be matched by city funds of about $246,780 and $15,000 for SODA to act in an administrative role to cover work with a total project cost of $491,780.
The next steps now includes working with Garvin County crews to do some of the preliminary work like dirt work as well as forming the two needed lagoons, said Mullins. Once construction starts the awarded contractor would then work on replacing old seals, putting in needed structures, painting and the main electrical panel.
Bid rooms are expected be set aside along with advertising of bid openings within the week, with 30 days set aside in order to review them as they come in with an official bid opening date of about Nov. 20 at 2 p.m., according to Rollings.
Mullins said during the 30 days of reviewing, those contractors considered will be made familiar with the goals of the project as well as tour the plant during a pre-bid meeting Nov. 9 at 10 a.m.
After this 30 days, another 30 days would be needed to award the eventual bid for contractors with any significant work not expected to begin until the new year, said Rollings.
However, Mullins did note that once things started the project’s basic work could be completed in as little as six months.
When all is said and done the main goal is to reduce money the city has been paying to buy as much as 70 percent of their water from Pauls Valley’s rural water district.
This will also reduce the cost residents pay when the meter is read and allow money to build up in municipal funds.