By Sarah Mansheim
A St. Albans construction firm has submitted the lowest bid to build Ronceverte’s new wastewater treatment plant.
According to City Administrator Reba Mohler, Orders Construction Company has presented the lowest bid for building the new vertical loop reactor sewer plant.
“We have not formally accepted the bid,” said Mohler. “The engineers and our attorneys are reviewing the bid, and formal acceptance should come soon.”
Bids for the plant were opened on Dec. 18, and Orders Construction Company came in over $785,000 less than its closest competitor, and millions of dollars less than other bidders.
Orders Construction bid the project at a total of $20,186,200; G.M. McCrossin Inc. of Bellefonte, PA, bid $20,972,941; Hayslett Construction Company of Hurricane bid $22,469,000 and Adams Robinson of Dayton, OH, submitted a bid of $26,111,000.
One money saver offered by Orders Construction was a $62,000 mobilization/demobilization charge, which covers the company’s transportation of personnel and equipment to and from the job site. G.M. McCrossin had placed that number at $475,000. Another significant line item in the bid is for the field office charge, which includes one maintained contractor and one engineer. Orders bid $12,000 per person for a total of $24,000, and G.M. McCrossin asked for $15,250 per person with a total of $30,500.
The current treatment plant is so antiquated, that Dunn Engineers, the Charleston firm overseeing the project, advised city lawmakers several years ago that it was beyond repair. The city has been cited by the EPA for the old system’s shortcomings in keeping the Greenbrier River clean of waste. Wastewater from both Lewisburg and Ronceverte is treated in the plant.
Planning for Ronceverte’s new wastewater treatment has been going on for years; Mohler said she thinks the initial discussions with Dunn Engineers began in 2009. Mohler began working for the city of Ronceverte in 2011. By then, she said, all of the design plans were in place, and her task has been helping to secure funding for the project.
At last week’s council meeting, members approved two bond ordinances to help fund the project, and Mohler said that construction may begin as early as April.
“We’re hoping to have funding mobilized by mid-March,” she said. As soon as the funding is secure and Orders Construction moves in all its equipment, building can begin, weather permitting. Once ground has been broken, Mohler said she expects the project to be complete within two years.
“The contract states it’s supposed to be operational in 18 months,” she said, but noted that additional time may be needed to button up construction of the plant and allow for weather delays.