The new water systems for areas of Carbonville and Wellington were put on temporary hold Tuesday evening when the bids contractors submitted were higher than had been expected. All in all 11 bids were received by the Price River Water Improvement District, and none were as low as the engineers estimate of $1,004,300 for completion of the five water projects.
"The problem here is that when we include the design work along with what the lowest contractor has bid, we will be about $200,000 over the money that has been awarded to do the job," Phil Palmer, district manager, told the board at their regular meeting. "I believe we can approach the Division of Drinking Water (the state agency that approved the original loan for $904,000) and we can get the extra money, but that will take some time."
According to the engineers who are planning the project, all the bids were high, but one came in only $14,000 over the estimate.
"The problem is that we have never worked with this contractor before so I will have to do some checking on their references before I would feel comfortable in having them approved," said Reed Noble of Creamer and Noble Engineers.
That low bidder was TNT General Contractors of Lehi at $1,018,206. The 10 other bids in ascending order were Claw Construction (the company that is presently doing the sewer project for PRWID in Carbon county) $1,090,989; Johansen Construction, $1,097,636.95; Terry R. Brotherson Excavating, $1,112,322.51; Nelco Contractors, $1,188,824.50; Vancon, Inc., $1,278,714; Reynold Brothers, Inc., $1,363,481.10; Dunn Construction, $1,373,038; Terry Larsen Excavating, $1,410,614; Dwight W. Peterson and Sons Excavating, $1,434,991.99; and J. West Oil Field, $1,545,644.94.
However, there was one glitch when the bids were opened. It turned out that the winning bidder had failed to account in his bid for replacing all the water meters in the Carbonville Water Company service area, a cost estimated at $200 per meter for 214 of the devices for a total of $42,800.
"He was upset that he missed that on the design drawings," said Noble. "He asked us if we could adapt to that higher cost but I told him no. We gave him the option of withdrawing his bid, but he said he would honor it."
The board then discussed the firm and what kind of credentials it had. Noble said that the references included a number of customers that he had done work for and that he would be contacting them to check on work quality and performance of TNT. Discussion then moved on to what the higher cost would do to the timeline of the project.
"We'll have to go back to the board and ask for more money and that will take some time," said Palmer. "I'm not sure if they have to approve that in a regular meeting or can do it by polling the members. We also will probably have to have at least one public hearing as well."
The project has already had two public hearings because the money that is being used for the project must be paid back by the people who are benefiting from the system over the next 20 years.
The expected cost per month per hookup was $16.10. But with having to come up with more funds, the cost will increase $4.40 per month, making the total cost register at $20.50 per month.
The increase represents the reason why another public hearing in the matter will be in order.
A motion was made by board member Steve Rigby to accept the bid with four stipulations.
The total funding must be in place before the project begins.
There must be a public hearing on the higher rate.
TNT Construction must meet all the parameters for the job.
The contractor must receive favorable recommendations from prior customers.
The motion passed the board.
The board also had to look at a resolution pertaining to this same project authorizing the issuance and confirming the sale of $904,000 in subordinated and water and sewer revenue bonds for the project.
However, because of the complications presented by the higher cost of the project the board did not adopt the resolution.
"The board didn't adopt it because we have to explore now how we are going to proceed with this," said assistant water improvement district manager Jeff Richens on Tuesday morning.
"We are going to have to go for between $250-$300,000 more dollars to do the projects and it isn't clear if we will have to approve this and another bond or a complete new bond that covers all the funds we will need."
In another report, the sewer projects that are underway are moving along better than the section that bogged down Claw Constructions crew's efforts in Carbonville, according to the PRWID assistant manager.
"The crew on the 950 East project in Wellington got slowed down a little by the weather but it is still moving along very well," said Richens. "The work on 1400 East in Wellington will be finished this week and that crew will be moving to the last project on Highway 10 to bypass the lift station there."
Many of the new sections that have been installed are currently being tested and prepared so people can start to hook onto the systems, concluded the water improvement district's assistant manager.