GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Board of Commissioners accepted a bid from Southern Ohio Trenching during a regular meeting on Thursday for the completion of the Kanuaga-Addison Sewer Project.
After entering into executive session with the project engineer, Gary Silcott of Stantec Engineering, the commission awarded the bid, in the amount of $1,985,363 to the contractor based in Ironton, Ohio.
The commission received bids from Southern Ohio Trenching, as well as Fields Excavating of Kitts Hill, Ohio, during a regular meeting on November 15.
Both bid packets contained “base” bids for the very basic work needed to be repaired and corrected within the sewer system, while Southern Ohio Trenching also submitted a pricier “alternate” bid for both the “basic” completion of the sewer, as well as for those corrections that are necessarily needed for the central functioning of the project.
Gallia County Commission President Harold Montgomery reported on November 15 that the alternate and base bids represented two different options for the future repair and completion of the project.
“The first bid is to do what’s basically needed to get it functioning. The second part is an alternate. It is if we want to correct those marginal things. And, if we don’t correct the marginal things, we’re taking the risk on that. We might need more maintenance on that part,” Montgomery said. “The regular maintenance might be a little bit more [with the base bid], but, in doing that, we have the funds available that will be escrowed into an account — a maintenance account — to take care of the maintenance issues should they arise.”
During a second meeting held on November 20, the commission met with the low bidder, Southern Ohio Trenching, as well as Silcott and entered into a lengthy executive session to discuss the sewer construction contract.
Following this, the commission reported that they would make a decision as to the future direction of the project during their weekly meeting on November 29.
The alternate bid accepted by the commission on Thursday represents the larger scope of work, according to Silcott, and, depending on the weather, will take an estimated nine months for total completion.
“[The alternate bid] will include all of the ‘must replace’ work that we discussed, the ‘moderate work’ that we discussed, and that should give you a complete, functioning system when it is done,” Silcott stated. “There are still some, what we call, ‘minimal risk’ areas that don’t necessarily meet industry standards, but our feeling is that they won’t create you any undo concern.”
The commissioners were given the responsibility for the completion of the project after they received a $3.5 million check from the Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland — the former contractor’s bonding company — on October 5.
Negotiations with the bonding company for the completion of the project began shortly after the original contract for construction of the sewer was terminated with Trimat Construction, Inc., in January of this year.
Following the termination of the original contract, the bonding company hired an outside contractor to “camera” and clear the entire gravity collection system in order to discover the areas in the project that need replaced.
Work on three pump stations that serve the sewer system has also been ongoing, and two of those pump stations are operational. The third stations is still currently in need of repairs.
The entire system reportedly consists of 60,000 linear feet of sewer line, and approximately 13,000 feet of that line will need to be reconstructed.
During Thursday’s discussion, the commission scheduled a pre-construction meeting with the engineer, contractor and other involved parties at 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 6 in the second-floor meeting room at the Gallia County Courthouse.
Silcott reported that, while the contractor has reported its desire to begin work on the main system in February, some residents in the most-southern regions affected by the project may have the opportunity to start connecting to the sewer prior to this.
Construction will be completed in phases and Montgomery reported that letters discussing residential connection to the sewer would be sent out to some residents living south of Georges Creek Road following next Thursday’s pre-construction meeting.
“Hopefully we can move forward and get this thing completed in the next few months,” Montgomery stated.
Also discussed during the meeting were the number of claims that have been filed by property owners in the area seeking reimbursement for reclamation work and other possible damage done to their properties during previous construction of the sewer.
According to Silcott, approximately 50 individuals were advised to file claims with the liability insurance company in regard to their properties, however, only four of five claims in total have reportedly been submitted to the insurance company for review.
Silcott reported that his company has attempted to contact those individuals who have not submitted their claims to advise them of how to file their claims if so desired.
“You can only get it taken care of if you make the claim,” Silcott said.