City ready to upgrade water treatment plant
By Chad Knudson
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
After years of discussions and warnings about the state of the Glendive water treatment plant, on Tuesday the city jumped on the “fast track” to significant plant upgrades.
During the Finance, Utility, Property and Recreation Committee meeting, Mayor Jerry Jimison told the committee the next step was for the city council to get an engineer on board to begin the process.
The project is to replace and significantly upgrade the treatment plant’s solid contact unit.
Public Works Director Jack Rice said Wednesday morning the city’s solid contact unit is about 60 years old and doesn’t meet Montana Department of Environmental Quality standards.
“Under the new requirements from DEQ there need to be two units for redundancy,” he said. “Right now if our unit goes down, the plant is shut down.”
Rice added the unit has a crumbling concrete foundation that has undergone numerous repairs for leakage.
The upgrade project will see two of the old Northern Pacific buildings torn down and a new solid contact unit building constructed in their place.
“The two rounded concrete buildings with the collapsing roofs will be demolished,” Rice said.
The new building will replace the current building near the river and Bell Street Bridge.
Ideally the city hopes to begin construction in spring 2019, Rice said, and the first step is hiring an engineering firm to design the project.
During the committee meeting Tuesday Councilman Mike Dryden asked whether the city staff had any thoughts or recommendations on which engineering firm to hire.
“From my standpoint, trying to be as impartial as possible... all three are capable of doing the work. We could work with any of them,” Director of Finance Kevin Dorwart said.
Engineering firms AE2S, DOWL and GreatWest submitted quotes. GreatWest quoted $1.319 million while DOWL quoted $1.359 million. AE2S was “considerably higher.”
Ultimately the committee will recommend to the council the city enter negotiations with GreatWest Engineering.
“I know we’ve had a long relationship with GreatWest, but I tried to put that aside,” said Councilman Gerald Reichert. “This is a new project, a new day. But that’s where my opinion came down.”
Councilman Rhett Coon suggested the city hire a second firm to “proofread” the design plans and bid documents drafted by the city’s engineering firm, regardless of who the city hires.