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$30.55M Is Low Bid For New Water Plant

March 23, 2013
By IAN HICKS - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Wheeling officials delayed the bid opening for Wheeling's new water treatment plant to give contractors an extra week to prepare their proposals. As it turned out, they needed almost every second of it to meet the 2 p.m. Friday deadline, according to City Manager Robert Herron.

"It's a complicated project. ... Some of them literally submitted their bids 30 seconds before 2 p.m. today," Herron said after revealing Shook Construction - a Dayton, Ohio, firm - as the apparent low bidder for the project at $30,548,000.

That company narrowly edged out Bowen Engineering of Indianapolis, which submitted the second-lowest bid of $30,659,000. Others submitting bids included Ulliman Construction of Dayton, at $32,362,000; Kokosing Construction of Westerville, Ohio, at $32,913,671; Adams Robinson of Dayton, at $32,921,000; Walsh Construction of Pittsburgh, at $33,534,800; and Wayne Crouse Inc. of Pittsburgh, at $37,650,000.

Article Photos

Photo by Ian Hicks
Wheeling’s 90-year-old water treatment plant is one step closer to replacement after city officials opened bids Friday for a new facility to be built in its place.

The city's engineering department will review all the bids and verify each company's qualifications before making an official recommendation to council on awarding the contract. Herron said he was pleased with the overall process.

"Very competitive, and they are in line with what we felt the original estimate was on the project," he said of the bids.

City officials anticipate issuing a total of about $41 million in bonds for the project. That estimate includes the general contract, a bond reserve fund, closing costs and capitalized interest expenses.

Wheeling's water treatment plant was built in Warwood in 1923 and is in desperate need of replacement, according to city officials.

The new plant, also to be located in Warwood, will employ a more modern pressure membrane filtration system in place of the current sand filtration process.

City Council heard the first of three required readings of legislation authorizing sale of the bonds at its meeting Tuesday. There will be a second reading April 2, with a public hearing and vote by council expected April 16.

Assuming council passes the bond ordinance, Herron said a vote to award the contract should take place May 7, with construction to begin in late July or early August. The plant will take at least two years to build.

Additional income from a 53.1-percent water rate increase will fund the project. The higher rates - which will cause the average residential customer's monthly water bill to increase by about $10 - should go into effect by mid-June, when the actual bond sale will take place.

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