$21.5 Million Sewer Contract Awarded
Expansion and upgrade of the county’s wastewater treatment plant has taken a giant step forward.
Last week, the Moore County Board of Commissioners awarded a $21,572,000 construction contract to Wharton-Smith Inc. of Sanford, Fla.
Public Works Director Randy Gould said the revised construction estimate prior to bid opening was $25,980,000 and the winning bid reflects a saving estimated at $4 million.
“We’ve been setting aside money for this all along,” said Commissioner Larry Caddell. “My hope and prayer is that we will be smart managers and can pay for it without a rate increase.”
Caddell made the motion to award the contract, and the vote was unanimous.
The Local Government Commission approved the county’s application for state revolving loan funding in January. The contract is contingent upon approval by the county attorney and the state agency controlling the revolving loan fund.
Total cost of $32.9 million will be paid through $26 million in loan funds and $6.9 million in local funding. The 20-year loan carries a 2.22 percent interest rate.
Local funds will come from the public utilities enterprise fund, comprised of payments by customers. Payment will not come from tax money.
Built in the late 1970s, the plant was originally designed to serve Southern Pines, Aberdeen and Pinehurst, which shared in the debt service. It was later expanded to serve Pinebluff and Carthage and outlying areas, including Camp Mackall.
The expansion plan is in keeping with state and federal regulations requiring wastewater treatment facility operators to prepare for growth needs as soon as plant usage approaches 80 to 90 percent of capacity.
Of the eight bids received, only two were from North Carolina. Firms in Florida, South Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Colorado submitted the other six bids.
The sewer plant construction contract was one in a series of public utilities matters addressed at the Tuesday meeting.
The board approved a contract amendment and agreement with the engineering firm of Hobbs, Upchurch & Associates for the third phase of the East Moore Water District. This action required the commissioners to adjourn as the county board and convene as the East Moore district, then, after taking a vote, to adjourn and reconvene as the board of commissioners.
The amendment was needed to cover the cost of roads added to the third phase after the original contract was awarded. Added were eight roads with 31,550 linear feet involved. The result is an increase of $35,099 in engineering fees for design and inspection.
Estimated project cost has been reduced from the initial $5.1 million to $3.7 million. The district has received a $5 million loan from the rural development arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the loan to be paid by users of the East Moore water system.
Commissioner Tim Lea was recused from this action because family members own property along these water lines.
A construction contract was awarded to Terry’s Plumbing & Utilities of Asheboro for the ATEX Technologies sewer project, the amount not to exceed $525,390.
Gould said the winning contractor submitted the lowest of nine bids received in the second round of bid proposals. None of the bidders is from Moore County.
ATEX Technologies operates a pump and haul operation and cannot complete a proposed expansion without extension of public sewer lines to the plant at Pinebluff.
In connection with this project, the board approved an interlocal cooperation agreement for construction of a sewer line and lift station in the town of Pinebluff.
The board also gave unanimous approval to a contract with McGill Associates for the Vass sewer improvements. This is an amendment extending the contract from July until Oct. 31 to coincide with the N.C. Rural Center deadline.
The county received a grant from the center to begin work on the project, but bids were not received in time for the July deadline.
The engineering contract is not to exceed $93,000.
In other business Tuesday the board awarded a contract to Dun-Right Services Inc. for rehabilitation of manholes. The amount is $102,165. The Florence, S.C., firm submitted the lower of two bids received.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at email@example.com.
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