This article was originally published in the Friday, Aug. 10, 2017 edition of the Progress Times
The Agua Special Utility District is still waiting to hear back from the Texas Water Development Board on whether or not they can move forward with a cost-saving plan for the final phase of their Palmview wastewater project.
The final phase of the project-the construction of a lift station-was set to have a bid awarded during the July 23 meeting month but after the lowest bid came in at $700,000 over budget, that decision was tabled for the board’s Monday meeting.
According to Agua SUD interim General Manager Jose “Eddie” Saenz, the budget for the fourth phase of the project was $6.5 million but the lowest bid, from the Mission-based RP Constructors Inc., came in at $7.2 million. The Agua board tabled the decision to award the bid in order to negotiate a lower price with the contractors based off a redesign of the lift station.
The submitted bids were for construction of a lift station with a capacity of 1.25 million gallons per day, with the possibility to expand to 2.5 mgd, according to Saenz. With the redesign, a single 1.25 mgd lift station would be constructed as the service area won’t need the full 2.5 mgd station for another 17 years.
However, the board is waiting to hear back from from the Texas Water Development Board-who is funding the wastewater project-on whether or not they can move forward with the redesign.
“We need to act as soon as possible,” Saenz said. “There’s no deadline for this decision but we want to do it within this month and pressing upon the water development board to give us the options of what we need to do.”
Reddy Kajuluri, a project engineer with S&B Infrastructure LTD., told the board he is discussing with the TWDB on how the redesign will be accomplished
“But they haven’t told us which of these contractors to proceed with,” he said, adding that Agua will send TWDB their plans on the redesign by the end of the week.
“They’ve gone to their legal team to decide what can be done,” Saenz said of TWDB. “My understanding is, within the next week or so, TWDB will give us an answer and then we’ll have a special meeting to act on this item. We really just don’t want to go out for rebids, we want to be able to get it awarded through negotiations or competitive bidding to the ones that qualified. It’s the final phase, we’re looking forward to it and be done by first quarter of 2019.”