By MARK EVANS
Things continue moving forward on Bloomsdale’s $1.9 million water system project.
At the Dec. 14 meeting, the board of aldermen awarded contracts to the low-bidders for the 250,000 water tank and for site work.
Phoenix Fabricators and Erectors, LLC, whose corporate headquarters are in Avon, Indiana (with a plant in Sebree, Ken.), were awarded the bid for supplying the tower. Their bid was the lowest of three, at $925,820.
Vern Bauman Contracting was awarded the site work job. The low bid was $211,329.
Aldermen expressed some regret that local contractor T. Drury Contracting could not get the contract, especially since the Drury family is donating the land in question. It was agreed, though, that the approximately $20,000 difference in bids was too substantial to ignore. Of course Bauman is essentially local, too, located in Ste. Genevieve.
David Van Leer of Cochran Engineering said that since Cochran had never worked with Bauman, they made calls to past clients and got excellent feedback.
“They seem like a good contractor which is why we are recommending them,” he said.
“I definitely value your input on that,” Bloomsdale Mayor Paul Monia said. “I’m very familiar with Vern Bauman as well and agreed they do good work as well. You had other good contractors bid.”
Phoenix Fabrication, one of the nation’s leading tank manufacturers, however, are well-known to Cochran.
“Over the last 10 years we’ve probably done half a dozen jobs with them,” Van Leer said.
Van Leer noted that the bid prices “were strikingly close to the cost estimates” that had been in the engineering report in July.
“With this project, we’re right on track with the financial recommendation we had previously made,” he said.
Van Leer discussed the distribution side of the project. He reported that a few things have been added to that part, increasing the price.
Clement Road work will be extended about 1,600 feet farther and service connections and meters are being added on, as well. That adds about $190,000 to the cost.
He added that about $60,000 of the increase is due to the supply issues being encountered in recent months.
Van Leer noted that some entities are backing off from projects because certain materials like PCV pipe has skyrocketed in cost. He warned that those trying to wait out the supply chain issues will probably have to deal with increased costs in other areas later on.
Van Leer also reminded them that $100,000 in contingency money had been added to the earlier estimates.
He also suggested that Bloomfield think about possibly buying its own pipe.
“That takes some of the price escalation concern away from the contractor,” he said. The contractor would not have to guess about rising material costs and could just put in a bid for labor.
“I think we would be 100 percent on board with doing that,” Monia said. “It’s vey understandable.”
“I think it’s a good approach right now,” Van Leer said. “It takes some risk away from the contractor and in turn should get you better pricing.”
SIX ORDINACES ARE PASSED
The board passed six ordinances during the meeting – its only ordinances passed during 2021.
Two ordinances raise water and sewer rates to $17.50 for the first 2,000 gallons of water per month and $5 for each 1,000 gallons thereafter and sewer rates to $4 per every 1,000 gallons used, with a minimum of $23 per month.
Two others increase the cost to connect to the water and sewer systems. Both fees will now be $1,000.
Another ordinance raises building permits to $100.
Finally, one makes it illegal to discharge “any human or animal excrement, garbage or other objectionable waste” into the city’s sewer system or to deposit it onto and public or private land within the city. It also bans discharging “sewage or other polluted waters” into “any natural outlet within the City, or in any area under jurisdiction of said City.”