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Monroe Legacy

Tiffin company selected for Wastewater Treatment Facility project

The contract for the Wastewater Treatment Facility Improvements project was awarded to the low bidder by the Monroe City Council. Woodruff Construction, LLC of Tiffin, presented a base bid at $3,372,960 and was approved by council at its March meeting Monday.

Sara Kappos with Veenstra and Kimm Engineering Firm was on hand to explain the bid and the alternates selected by the council.

“(Woodruff) do a lot of this type of work. We’re working with them on the wastewater treatment plant in Roland right now,” Kappos said. “They are very experienced.”

The original engineer’s estimate had the cost for the base bid at about $3 million. Kappas explained the estimate was done in 2015 to 2016 and inflation during the past three years is part of the reason for the increase.

“I know these bids are high and I know there are some things we have to figures out, but you’re not getting one that is $3 million and one that is $5 million, they are close together, they saw the same things. That’s just kind of the cost of the project,” Kappos said. “In general, we are seeing these types of projects coming in fairly high just because there is not a lot of competition between contractors right now. There is a lot of this work right now.”

Kappos said she did not see a benefit to waiting and trying to re-bid the project at a later date. The work would only get further into the construction season and get worse bids. The city is also under a DNR compliance schedule to have it completed by Dec. 1.

The first alternate selected for the project is to install cured-in-place pipe lining of the sanitary sewer from the end of the new force main to the East Lagoon. It is priced at $108,465. The second alternate is to replace the pumps, valves and controls at the Midlands Lift Station, as well as adding a new valve manhole to comply with Iowa Department of Natural Resources standards.

“That is the only one we have problems with,” public works director Jeff Timmons said of the Midlands Lift Station. “It’s a totally different type of system.”

A second bid from Boomerang Corporation of Anamosa was received at a price of $3,436,900, about $60,000 more than the low bid.

Three additional alternate bids were not included in the approval. Those alternates entailed replacing the roof, soffits, fascia and gutters at the East Lagoon Control Building, removing the aeration piping at the West Lagoon and stabilizing the bank at the West Lagoon.

Several items within the bid are being pursued for cost savings purposes due to the increased cost of the bid. Some items may move in house for city staff to accomplish while others could be bid out to another, possibly local contractor, at a reduced rate.

In other business:

• Kurt Briles was approved for hire as a full-time general maintenance employee for the city.

• Matthew Schneider was approved for hire as a full-time police officer for the Monroe Police Department.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or

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