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Finance Committee recommends contractor for removing lift stations

WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Finance Committee is recommending the council approve a contract with Reiner Contracting Inc. of Hutchinson to remove two obsolete wastewater lift stations.

The lift stations, located on 21st Street Southwest and on 24th Avenue Southwest between First Street and Fifth Street, formerly pumped wastewater to the old treatment plant located just east of the Kandi Mall.

Wastewater is now being treated at the new plant located 5 miles west of the city and the treatment structures at the old plant are being removed in a processing called decommissioning. The process includes the two lift stations.

The lift stations are obsolete because the depth of the interceptor sewer line that carries wastewater to the new plant is lower than the lift stations, explained Josh Halvorson, project manager in the Willmar office of Donohue and Associates, the engineering consultant for Willmar's wastewater treatment project.

Halvorson said seven bids were received and opened on May 3. Donohue and city staff reviewed and analyzed the bids and recommended the contract be awarded to Reiner in the amount of $287,463.73.

The engineer's estimate was $376,674. Reiner submitted the lowest bid. The second lowest bid of $293,333 was submitted by Duininck Inc. of Prinsburg. The high bid of $393,178 was submitted by Quam Construction of Willmar.

City Administrator Michael Schmit said the city received fairly good bids. The cost of the work is covered by the Minnesota Public Facilities Loan that the city received to finance the $86.2 million wastewater treatment and conveyance system.

Reiner is already working on decommissioning and removing many of the structures at the old wastewater treatment plant.

During the committee meeting Monday afternoon, council member Jim Dokken asked Halvorson why he thought Reiner submitted the low bid. One reason may be that Reiner already had personnel and equipment working in the city, although Halvorson said the Duininck bid was very comparable.

"But just having (Reiner) in town and already related to the decommissioning of the existing wastewater treatment facility project could possibly be a reason,'' Halvorson said.

If the council approves the contract May 16, Donohue hopes to have the contract signed and other details handled by the following week. Construction should begin by Memorial Day week and be completed by Aug. 31.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150