Tuesday, January 16, 2007

City of Fairfield Council may award $46 million contract for water treatment

January 15, 2007

Council may award $46 million contract for water treatment

By Barry Eberling

FAIRFIELD - The Fairfield City Council on Tuesday will consider awarding a $46 million contract that could have Waterman water treatment plant renovations under way within months.

Fairfield wants to update the three-decades-old plant and almost double the amount of treated drinking water it can turn out. That would keep pace with the demands of a growing city.

The total costs for the renovation - including engineering and a prior, smaller phase - is about $61 million. That compares to an estimate of $34 million only two years ago.

A major factor in the increase is the building boom going on in China, Assistant Public Works Director for Water Rick Wood said. That's driven up costs for steel, cement and other materials, he said.

"It's not just something we've had happen in Fairfield," Wood said. "It's all over."

The council meets at 7 p.m. in its chamber at 1000 Webster St.

City staff recommended the council award the construction contract to Nebraska-based Kiewit Pacific, even though Overaa Construction of Richmond submitted a slightly lower bid.

Overaa's bid had deficiencies, according to a city memorandum. The company failed to fill out all sections or list key subcontractors and financial references, it said.

That is in addition to a question of whether Overaa submitted its bid after the 2 p.m. deadline on Dec. 12, 2006, albeit by a matter of seconds.

The Kiewit Pacific bid is 19 percent less than the city's estimate of $57 million for the work. Wood attributed this in part to having three serious bidders.

As a result, Fairfield has more money to put into other water projects. The city had concluded it would have to delay $62 million in projects because of lack of money.

Now the city can continue work on its East-West water line. This line is to ultimately bring Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water treated at the North Bay water treatment plant to the Cordelia Villages area and Green Valley. The city presently can serve these areas only with Lake Berryessa water.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646 Ext. 232 or at beberling@dailyrepublic.net.

At a glance

Who: Fairfield City Council

What: Award $46 million bid for Waterman water plant renovations

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: City Council chamber, 1000 Webster St.

Info: 428-7485

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