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Sewer plant construction moving forward....slowly
5/23/2008 By: Carole McWilliams
Bayfield town trustees approved a complicated series of resolutions and ordinances Tuesday evening to get toward the start of actual construction on a new sewage treatment plant.
Town Manager Justin Clifton advised actual construction should start in June and is likely to take 12 months, which is longer than originally estimated.
The board approved two ordinances vacating a part of South East Street, and two resolutions to buy rights-of-way on two parcels to get an access to the new plant from South East Street.
The current access requires going south on the Buck Highway and then coming back up across tribal and private land.
"This access is very inconvenient and the road is unable to support heavy construction traffic," Clifton said in a memo to the board. And that easement expires in 2014.
By vacating existing easements and creating new ones on the East Street lots, the landowners actually end up with more useable land, Clifton said. And the town is paying each owner $10,000.
Logistics have been very complicated to get to where actual construction can start.
Clifton reported that contractor bids will be opened on May 28 as planned, but the contract can't be awarded until sometime in June. And the town canít complete purchase of school district land where the new plant will be built.
The reason is a $300,000 Colorado Community Development Block Grant that is part of the project funding. It requires an environmental assessment.
In a memo on this Clifton said, "We received some very bad advice from our consultant working on our CDBG grant. There were some notices that needed to take place but didnít, so now we will have to wait until mid-June to get that contract underway. If we are to use the $300,000 CDBG grant, we cannot award a contract or make any other financial commitments (including closing on the school property) until our contract is in place."
Trustees approved authority for Mayor Rick Smith to sign any CDBG documents needed.
"In addition, the town can't start actual construction until LPEA installs 3-phase power to the site. Clifton indicated all the currently available power is needed to operate the current sewage lagoons and assorted enhancements the town and former sanitation district have added to improve performance until the new plant is built.
Trustees approved an agreement with LPEA to bring the 3-phase power in from the west, and an easement agreement with the owner whose land it will cross.
The LPEA agreement says the town will pay for things the landowner wants LPEA to do as part of bringing the power through.
"The day the easement agreement is signed, we'll lobby LPEA to bump this up on their schedule," Clifton said.
"None of these items should delay the actual start of construction more than a week or two," Clifton said. But it raises other issues.
"Our compliance schedule with the state says we have to award the contract by May 31, but these (CDBG) people say we can't until we have the CDBG contract," Clifton said.
In addition, he said, "The contractors are asking for more time than is in the compliance schedule, so we may have to make some significant adjustments."
He continued, "We've revised the (compliance) schedule a couple times. The engineer and contractor said (previously) we should be able to build the plant in 244 days. We started this current process in August 2007. I donít know how to plan ahead more than that."
Now, Clifton said, "The contractor is saying 244 days isn't realistic. They want more like 12 months. This schedule was done in November last year. This will be the more significant issueĒ compared to having the construction contract awarded by May 31.
He concluded, "I think we will start in June and it will take 12 months. I donít want to rush the project. It needs to be done correctly. At the same time, we have to play by the state's rules."
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