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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Wastewater plant bids higher than expected


By Jason Stuart

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

The bids for constructing Glendive’s new wastewater treatment plant came in Tuesday, and the cost of the project is much higher than anticipated.

Four of the seven firms which pre-qualified to submit bids did so. Of the four bids, the lowest was $16.3 million from Sletten Construction Company of Great Falls. The highest bid came in at just over $20 million.

Those bids are a far cry from the $12.5 million project engineering firm Great West had estimated for the new plant. 

The bids also do not include engineering fees — expected to total around $1 million — bond reserves or contingency funds.

Glendive Mayor Jerry Jimison said the high bids for the project could potentially delay the start of construction, which the city had hoped to get underway by late spring.

“Getting these kind of numbers is definitely going to cause the city to take a step back and evaluate cost-saving options,” Jimison said. “Once the cost options are weighed we will move forward to make sure the community gets the best bang for the buck.”

Jimison added that city Finance Director Kevin Dorwart “had been working with a lot smaller numbers” in determining how much the city would need to increase city sewage rates to help finance the project. 

He said the city council would now need time to work out “how to move forward” to ensure that sewage rates remain affordable for city sewage customers in light of the high bids.

The city council’s Finance, Utilities, Property and Recreation Committee will take a first look at the bids in detail at their meeting Wednesday afternoon. Jimison said it could be a while before any decision is made on choosing a bid.

“It might be a couple of weeks for (council members) to study all the bids and make sure everything’s apples to apples,” he said.

Reach Jason Stuart at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.

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