By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
During the latest round of discussions on the proposed operations center and lab at the new wastewater treatment plant, the Clinton City Council decided to investigate the best way to solicit bids for the project.
Also at Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Council members asked staff to plan for what to do with the old treatment plant.
According to Dave Dechant with HDR Engineering, there are two approaches the city could take to solicit bids on the project.
The city could go out for a design build proposal that would entail the design and construction being one bid. This turn-key style approach would require some work with the Iowa Code, Dechant said.
“The more traditional approach a municipality would take would be to retain an architectural engineering firm to put together a design that then would be advertised.
Bids would be received for that specific design to construct only,” Dechant said. “That’s what Iowa code is really set up to do.”
The estimated cost for the design work for the second option hovers around $361,000, although Dechant said this estimate was not thoroughly examined. The lab itself is expected to cost $2.77 million, which is projected to be covered using the 1-cent sales tax.
Councilman Paul Gassman, Ward 4, asked why the new lab was needed and what would become of the old, 10,000 square-foot facility.
According to Dechant, the current lab doesn’t have enough space or the proper equipment for the testing needs.
“You have half of what you should have,” Dechant said.
The new lab would be 1,850 square feet, double the space of the currently used lab at the old wastewater treatment plant. The management/combined area of the facility, which would house reception, restrooms, locker rooms and other areas, would be 2,470 square feet, more than 1,200 square feet less than the same area in the current lab.
The old lab will be used for major maintenence projects and storage, Plant Superintendent Dan Riney said, with four people working out of the facility.
While employees are currently transporting samples from the new treatment facility to the old one, this process could potentially hinder the biological nutrient testing that’s possible at the new facility.
“We have to filter that sample within 15 minutes of collecting the sample. So, three red lights and a train and that sample’s no good,” Riney said.
The old treatment plant itself, Riney said, will be used to handle combined sewer overflow events when the new plant hits its 17-million gallon capacity.
The Council unanimously voted to research the design build approach to completing the new lab and research potential plans for the old facility.
City Attorney Jeff Farwell will report his findings on the bid solicitation to the Council at the first Committee of the Whole meeting in December.