Treatment plant work will cost village more than expected

By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Fredonia Village Board has awarded a bid for work on the sewage treatment plant for $1.55 million, which was the low bid but still more than $200,000 above what the village’s engineering consultant estimated the project would cost.

Staab Construction Corp. of McFarland was the low bidder for the project, which will install a grit-removal system used to remove sand, dirt and other materials from raw sewage before it enters the plant.

After board members expressed frustration regarding the bid being higher than the estimate, village consultant Paul Bzdusek of Strand Associates said the bidding climate is difficult due to increased material costs and lack of skilled labor. 

Bzdusek recommended against rebidding the project because it could result in an even higher bid.

Work on the project is expected to start this month.

Trustees approved awarding the project to Staab on a 4-2 vote.

TJ Meyers-Jansky, John Long, Bill McLarty and Dohrwardt voted yes. Jill Bertram and Joshua Haas voted no. Richard Abegglen was absent.

The approval was contingent that any changes of more than 8% must first be approved by trustees. Any changes of more than $1,000 must be approved by Village President Don Dohrwardt.

The board directed Public Works Director Roger Strohm and Strand Associates to work with the contractor once work begins to find savings that wouldn’t affect quality.

Last month, trustees voted to take out a 20-year loan from the state Clean Water Fund program to finance the improvements. The current interest rate on Clean Water loans is 1.98%.

The grit-removal system will replace a bucket-and-chain system currently used.

The current system, besides being less efficient and messier, also removes valuable organic material used by microbes in the treatment process to digest sewage, Strohm said.

The grit-removal system is the first phase in improving and upgrading the plant to bring it more in line with state Department of Natural Resources guidelines regarding phosphorus levels. It also would mean greater efficiencies and operational savings.

The total cost of the upgrades  is estimated at $3.4 million.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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