Bids too high for Columbus wastewater treatment plant

Published 4:33pm Thursday, December 27, 2012

Town working with low-bidder to renegotiate price

The Town of Columbus is going to have to scale back its wastewater treatment plant upgrades after all bids came in over budget.

The town opened bids for the project on Dec. 6 from five bidders. The lowest bid came from Buchanan and Sons Inc. out of Whittier, N.C. with a base bid of $2,612,590 and including add-ons a total bid of $3,010,980.

The town has available $2,150,000.

Columbus Town Council met Dec. 20 and discussed its options. Town manager Jonathan Kanipe said the town has already contacted the state with the state agreeing to allow the town to negotiate with the low bidder.

“We’re going to try to remove some things for this project that don’t necessarily have to be done,” Kanipe said.

He said most of the items that can be removed can come from sludge handling. Since the project will be increasing the efficiency of the plant it is going to reduce how much sludge the town will have to handle, Kanipe said.

The town can also eliminate a second chlorine chamber, which was one of the items added later to the project with council knowing at the time the town may end up having to eliminate depending on bids.

Other possible eliminations to the project include removing sludge removal, removing one of three entrances, removing three auxiliary aerators in the second basin, removing two weir structures and removing a truck pad for sludge landing.

Kanipe said the items that could be removed through negotiations are in no way reducing why the town is doing the project.

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