Sewer project progressing under budget

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

As members of Spencer City Council approved a change order for a portion of the Combined Sewer Overflow project Monday evening, they learned the required upgrade is currently under budget and ahead of schedule.

"We're projected to be $270,000 under where we awarded the project at," Derick Anderson of McClure Engineering Company told the council. "We will come back to the council when all the work is substantially complete and all the costs are known and provide a final project update."

The cost was estimated at about $8,503,000, but that number has since been adjusted to about $8,232,000.

Estimated engineering costs have dropped from about $1.11 million to about $880,000.

The initial phase of the project is substantially complete, with an estimated savings of just more than $219,000. Phase two is expected to be substantially complete in 30 days and is estimated to be about $13,000 above the $1.1 million estimate.

A near $55,000 change order for the final phase, which was approved Monday, put the estimate at about 3.2 million, compared to $3.07 million. That phase is expected to be substantially complete in November. Anderson noted the completion date would have been earlier, but dealing with high water early in the construction season and an unforeseen, underground structure added 59 days of work.

The overall project is still ahead of schedule.

"Under the Environmental Protection Agency consent order that you agreed to, this work would be done by the end of calendar year 2013, so you're at least a year ahead of what's projected," Anderson said. "We did that by design so you would have some time and flexibility. The DNR held us up by about a year and we're still a year ahead of the time frame you agreed to."

In related business, Anderson briefed the council on the city's annual update letter to the EPA regarding the progress of the sewer project. City Attorney Don Hemphill reviewed the letter and it will be submitted as is if council members do not raise significant questions or concerns.

In other business, the council:

* Awarded a $61,200 seal coat bid to Road Guy Construction, of Yankton, S.D., which was the only bid under the $66,000 engineer's estimate. The final contract had not been received and, therefore, could not be approved.

* Did not approve a resolution amending the city's reserve peace officer force to allow for the school resource officer to be a reserve officer employed by the school. Councilman Ron Hanson had voted against the SRO resolution, and voted against this resolution on the same grounds. With councilmen Steve Bomgaars, Ed Krebs and Rich Prentice absent, the 3-1 vote was not enough to pass the amendment.

* Approved a resolution of intent to support community policy pledge actions aligned with achieving Blue Zones certification for the city. City Manager Bob Fagen addressed concerns raised by Lonnie Bauerly concerning potential ties to United Nations Agenda 21. "These policies are recommendations; they are not required," Fagen said.

* Approved a $50,000 Solid Waste Alternatives Program Environmental Management System Agreement with the Iowa DNR for the Northern Plains Curbside Upgrade Project. The grant will go toward the cost of containers for an automated recycling and solid waste program in Spencer.

* Learned that Complete Recovery is opting out of its contract to process the city's recyclable materials. The city has 90 days to accept bids and approve a new contractor for that service.

* Approved the appointments of Ron Behrends to the Library Board of Trustees until June 30, 2018 and Anita Jorgensen and Randy Wiemers to the Collection Rate Review Board until June 30, 2016. Mayor Reynold Peterson is seeking two female candidates for the library board.

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