Bid awarded for sewer replacement

GLOVERSVILLE — The city on Tuesday awarded a $377,222 bid to WM. J Keller & Sons Construction for trunk sewer replacement along South Main Street. The majority of the project cost will be covered by remaining state grant funds from a trunk sewer replacement project that was completed earlier this year that was bid out significantly below cost projections.

The city in 2017 received a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant through the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal to replace deteriorated sections of sewer main along the Cayadutta Creek on South Main Street where there was previously a catastrophic failure that led to the leakage of raw sewage

The Common Council awarded C.T. Male a $100,000 contract to inspect, inventory and assess the condition of the trunk sewer system in June 2018. In November 2019, the council awarded a $333,750 contract to low bidder Jablonski Excavating to replace approximately 300 feet of the deteriorated trunk sewer system while combining several sewer lines to eliminate some sections.

The engineering study and recently completed sewer replacement project were expected to fully expend the $750,000 state grant funding. With the project now complete well under budget, the city’s grant writer Nicholas Zabawsky appeared before the Common Council on Tuesday recommending the city move forward with an additional trunk sewer replacement project along the Cayadutta with the $316,000 in grant funds that remain available this year.

“Our deadline is the end of this year and it’s use it lose it. If we don’t spend it, we give it back to New York state,” said Zabawsky.

Engineering work for a second phase sewer replacement project would cost approximately $12,000, Zabawsky estimated, leaving roughly $305,000 for construction costs. A proposed second phase project was recently put out to bid, Zabawsky reported, that received eight competitive responses for a base scope of work and several potential add-ons.

The lowest qualified bidder was WM. J Keller & Sons Construction with a base bid of $186,407 and total bid of $377,222 if the city also moved forward with all of the potential alternate items.

“We have $305,000 roughly worth of money so to do everything and really do it up right is going to cost the city $72,000,” said Zabawsky.

Finance Commissioner Tammie Weiterschan and Department of Public Works Director Christopher Perry reported to the council that they had already reviewed the sewer fund budget looking for the necessary funding to cover the additional scope of work and determined together that all but $5,500 could be accessed for the project through the sewer fund.

“So, I was proposing that $5,500 of that $72,000 would come out of contingency,” said Weiterschan.

Both Zabawsky and Perry recommended that the city move forward with the second phase project with the additional items despite the cost to the city given the current condition of the city’s trunk sewer system.

“I’m certainly recommending given the condition of the sewers down there, get as much done as possible to prevent future disasters is a good thing,” said Zabawsky. “We’ve already had a catastrophic failure.”

“All of the alternatives do address what is already identified as critical sections of the trunk sewer that were recommended for replacement within five years,” said Perry. “I think this grant is going to come together to truly benefit us in a tremendous way, not only does it double the amount of 20 year old trunk sewer that gets replaced, it affords us the opportunity to do some more investigative work we would not be able to otherwise.”

Perry noted that a portion of the city’s sewer system will have to be bypassed in order for construction crews to complete the replacement project, allowing the DPW to put its new sewer camera to use assessing the condition of nearby trunk sewer lines saving the city the potential future cost of hiring an outside firm at a later date.

“We can do some really critical investigative work as part of this project,” said Perry, explaining that the flow through the sewer lines is normally too strong to run a camera through the lines that will be temporarily bypassed.

The council members responded positively to the recommendations to move forward with the full second phase sewer replacement project along South Main Street given the cost to the city will only amount to $72,000.

“I think that’s cheap insurance,” said 6th Ward Councilman Wrandy Siarkowski.

“No doubt about it, I think it should be done,” agreed 2nd Ward Councilman Arthur Simonds.

The Common Council on Tuesday approved a resolution to award a $377,222 contract for the second phase sewer project to WM. J Keller & Sons Construction.

By LH Staff