Commissioners award bid for West Stanly wastewater treatment plant renovations

Published 1:38 pm Tuesday, July 28, 2020

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The Stanly County Board of Commissioners passed motions at a specially called meeting Monday night to help the growing demand for wastewater treatment in the western part of Stanly.

A bid was awarded to Harin Construction of Tennessee for $6.205 million in improvements to the wastewater to increase its capacity to 1.2 million gallons per day.

The low bid by MB Khan was rejected because the company did not fill out good faith efforts or the compliance form required, so the bid was considered non-responsive.

County Manager Andy Lucas said on the advice of the board attorney Jenny Furr, the board could not legally take the low bid and had to take the next lowest responsive bid, which was Harin Construction.

When asked by Commissioner Tommy Jordan about the difference between the two bids, Lucas said it was $1.1 million. However, Lucas said after some value-added engineering the bid eventually was lower than MB Khan’s original bid.

Certain parts of the bid were pulled out, Lucas said, asking Jimmy Holland of WK Dickson Engineering to explain which parts were taken out of the bid.

One included an aeration component valued around $550,000 which would only be good enough to get the capacity to 1.2 million but would be no good when the plant eventually increases to 2.5 million.

The 2.5 million is an eventual goal if the county continues to grow, which Lucas said will be “a very, very expensive venture.” However, he added “if we want to grow, we don’t have a choice. We’re going to have to sit down with municipalities and come up with some creative ways to fund it.”

The rehabilitation of the existing aerator would cost about $300,000, but that work would also not get the plant closer to 2.5 million.

Chairman Matthew Swain said the Khan bid had a box checked saying it had all the paperwork necessary in the bid envelope, but it did not.

“(Khan) was notified. They understood and obviously they know how these things work. I’m sure they’re frustrated with their own staff, but they understand how it works,” Lucas said.

Lucas said the bid also had a mathematical error, which Khan admitted to and asked for their bid to be withdrawn.

Lucas said conversations with Harin included looking at ways to take things out of the bid to lower it without being “detrimental to the renovation.”

He said other things in the bid would help the plant eventually get to the 2.5 million gallon per day capacity.

Holland said the project was basically a bridge to get the next needed expansion of 2.5 million.

Lucas said the county is looking to U.S. Department of Agriculture funding for that project since the USDA can amortize the debt across a 40-year period.

With the bid approved, the project could take 12 to 15 months to be completed.

The board passed an amendment to the original project ordinance to add an interim local loan of roughly $3.9 million so a pre-audit of the project can happen. The loan is from the county’s general fund to the project fund.

If the pre-audit can happen in a timely fashion, the contract can be awarded and work could start. A local government loan with the state’s Department of Environmental Quality of $3.3 million had already been approved.

Lucas said the local loan was only temporary until the DEQ loan could be extended from $3.3 million to $7.3 million. When that work would be done in September or October, he added, an amendment could be passed to put the money back in the general fund and put the DEQ loan money to the project.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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