Town May Re-Bid Sewer Project

Following some post bid opening conferences, the Crothersville Town Council may opt to re-bid the Wastewater Improvement Project.
Mitchell & Stark Construction was the lone bidder for the project. The Medora based firm bid $3.3 million for the work, more than a half-million over the engineer’s estimate of $2.73 million.
The fact that the lone bidder nearly 20% over the engineer’s estimate and that 12 other firms had obtained big packets but did not submit a bid had the town council, engineers and grant writers scrambling on what was next.
According to Brad bender of the engineering firm FBPH of North Vernon, it was a tight construction schedule of having to complete all work by July 31 next year.
Some contractors were skeptical that the town would provide an order to proceed by Oct. 1 leaving just 10 months to do the work. There was also concern over beginning a project just before the start of winter and having to complete it by mid summer.
Bender said that the feedback from potential bidders was that the lack of response and the higher bid by Mitchell & Stark was based on the short time frame to complete. With the July 31 completion date “they felt sure it would be impossible to complete the project on time, or if it could be done on time it would greatly affected pricing,” Bender wrote adding that some contractors said that they would need a year after a notice to proceed. That extra time would give the best value to the winning bidder and the town.
Bender recommended that the lone bid by Mitchell & Stark be rejected and the project re-bid.
“As a part of the re-bid we can reduce the project budget to get it built through changing and deleting some items and still meet permit requirements,” he wrote.
If a grant modification and extension for re-bidding and construction is approved, we could be able to open bids at the Oct. 4 town council meeting. “Even if that date cannot be achieved, we feel there is more than adequate time to award the bid in November or December,” the engineer said. In a letter to the town.
The swer project is to be paid for in part by a federal grant and loan to be paid back by local sewer rate payers. The town has been under the gun by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to eliminate sewer overflows caused by a combination of storm and sanitary sewers flowing to the wastewater treatment plant.
In times of heavy rainfall, all of the water flowing to the plant cannot be treated and some sewage is bypassed and allowed to flow down Hominy Ditch.
The town council was to have met on Tuesday, Sept. 6 for their monthly meeting. The sewer project matter was placed on the agenda for discussion.