Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 10, 2013

Elmore City awards water plant contract

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — The good news about Elmore City’s water treatment plant continued with another welcomed step toward completion Tuesday night as the city council awarded a bid for refurbishment.

The construction contract ended up going to Downey Contracting LLC out of Oklahoma City, offering a more attractive lower bid than competitor JoeDee Construction and coming in under the most recent estimated project cost of $491,780, according to City Clerk/Treasurer Lisa Rollings.

Made possible after project engineer Robert Mullins of Mehlburger Brawley broke up bids into individual items for the plant, the cost now should be about $398,036.

“We got to pick and choose what we wanted to keep,” said Rollings, adding how if the city had decided to go with everything that had been bid out, it would have ended up going over the estimated cost at about $528,916. “They had them bid out line by line.”

Much of the lower cost comes from removing features city officials deemed unnecessary to have right away, the biggest being $53,000 for a computer system that would control operations for the plant, said Rollings.

In the past when the plant was previously running, there was always a person handling the same tasks and council members felt confident it could be done the same way when the old plant is brought up to date.

Other costs including outdoor work like painting the outside of the building and replacing windows also allowed reductions in costs since they are automatically covered by one of the Rural Economic Action Plan grants for $40,000, said Rollings.

In all, grants will pay for about $335,000 of the project cost, with another REAP grant covering $50,000 for an electrical panel and around $246,000 from Southern Oklahoma Development Association community development block grant through the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

“A lot of it we decided to wait on because it wasn’t required by DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) or the city could do cheaper,” said Rollings, noting how the city could always add items like the computer system on later. “We’ve been waiting on this for a long time.”

The rest of the cost will be covered by the city, which had already made plans to cover additional costs by building up a fund over the past several years, said Rollings. The readjusted final cost means what is left of the funds can go toward other city needs.

The next steps will include Mullins preparing the paperwork to reflect the final cost, a process that should take a few weeks, said Rollings.

After singing the documents to make the plans official, there will be a notice to proceed and barring delays the plant should be up and running by the fall.

“Once we get that notice to proceed, we should have it completed in 180 days,” said Rollings, adding that it will also give them enough time to determine whether water available due to a grant they were awarded to drill new wells will go to the lake or directly to the plant.

“It’s all finally coming together and it’s time to move on.”