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Bid opening set for new transmission line

Sun Advocate publisher

The bid to construct the new water transmission line will be determined at the next Price City Council meeting on Feb 27.

On Feb 13, Gary Sonntag reported to the council that 19 pre-qualified contractors bidding on the project met Wednesday reviewing the transmission line installation. This included a two-hour field trip to the top of Wood Hill.

For a number of years, the city has experienced chronic repair problems with the 12- and 16-inch lines that bring drinking water to Price from the treatment plant. The 12-inch pipe carries the spring water from Price Canyon, while the 16-inch pipe brings in water from the treatment plant.

The water is pumped to a 1 0-million gallon tank on Wood Hill. The lines that are currently being used are 60 and 40 years old respectively and have outlived expectancy, according to Sonntag.

"We were experiencing more and more repair problems which was a great expense to the city," said Sonntag. He explained that three years ago, the council felt enough money had been spent and it was time to consider a complete replacement.

Initially the city, through a feasibility study, learned that a 30-inch pipeline might be an option to allow enough capacity for population growth. Sonntag said the expected cost of $15 million needed to be reduced to make it more affordable and realistic to area population growth over the next 20 years. Officials elected to forecast an increase growth of up to 9,000 people and felt this was more realistic and reasonable, thus reducing the pipe size down to a 20-inch diameter and resulting in a project cost of $10 million.

The city, due to the size and complexity of the project, hired a consulting engineering firm, through a selection process. Hansen, Allen, and Luce, Inc. was selected and has been working with Price City for the past 14 months to develop the funding applications, preliminary design and final construction and bidding documents for the project. Considering the expense of the project, the city has completed a funding package involving Price City Permanent Community Impact Board, Board of Water Recourses and the Division of Drinking Water.

The new 20-inch pipeline will closely follow the present alignment of the 16-inch line from the treatment plant to the tank on Wood Hill, a distance of about 12 miles. The new pipeline will be transporting up to 6.2 million gallons of water a day and will withstand pressures up to 280 per square inch at its lowest point.

The mandatory pre-bid meeting for the contractors drew 19 contractors and the final bid deadline will be Feb. 27, at which time the bid will be awarded to the lowest bidder.

The project is anticipated to be completed by May 2003.

In other business discussed at the meeting Wednesday, city treasurer Shari Madrid appeared before the council requesting raising the minimum utility deposit from $100 to $200 siting mounting problems in collections.

Currently, the city has 208 customers who are more than 90 days delinquent with payments, resulting in excess of $42,000 being past due.

The utility deposit at Price is less than neighboring cities, thus the proposal to increase the deposit.

In the discussion it was brought up that some people would have a hard time coming up with the additional $100 thus making it a hardship on some citizens. It has been 14 years since the deposit was discussed.

The deposit covers water, sewer, garbage and electricity. No decision was made but a committee was formed to further discuss the deposit and effects this will have on both the city and its citizens.

The city council also discussed at length the appointment of a community development coordinator.

In a vote of three to two, the council decided to continue pursuing a person and set up interviews. The council and mayor were clear to point out that the position will not be the mayor's administrative assistant but take on a new role from the position held by previous employee Vern Jones.

Mayor Piccolo sees the new community developer assisting many departments and being a fund raiser of sorts, seeking out grants and additional funding sources for many of the projects on the horizon, including the trails project and an equestrian park.

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