WMU rejects bids for Strodes Creek access road improvements

Published 12:22 pm Monday, September 19, 2016

The Winchester Municipal Utilities Board unanimously voted Thursday evening to reject bids for a proposed project to make improvements to the solids handling facility access road at the Strodes Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

According to General Manager Mike Flynn, the access road is very narrow, causing problems for the large vehicles going to and from the plant.

The goal of the project is to improve access to the facility for trucks and loaders. In addition, Flynn said vehicles sometimes tear up the ground around the access road, requiring time and resources to fix any damage.

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However, the bids for the project came in higher than anticipated. Flynn said that the low bid of $43,000 came in much higher than the $33,500 budgeted by the board for the total cost of the project.

“Our budget for the project was quite a bit below what we had anticipated that to be,” Flynn said. “The reason for that being, the original plan for that driveway expansion did not include curb and gutter in and around the area we were going to expand. It didn’t include bollards that need to be in place there too as well.”

Rather than paying the bid price, which may have an effect on other projects WMU hopes to complete this fiscal year, Flynn suggested the board wait and rebid the project after the next budget is passed.

“Cutting things out of the project is not what we want to do, we want to build it the right way,” Flynn said. “So tonight it would be our recommendation that we reject all the bids and rebid the project during the next fiscal year.”

In other business, the WMU board:

— Entered into contracts with Baptist Health, Guardian Dental and Cigna for employee benefits.

— Approved the purchase of a 2017 Dodge 3500 Crew Truck from Freedom Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep.

— Declared solid waste front load containers surplus to be auctioned.

— Approved travel expenses to send WMU employees to operator certification classes.

— Discussed the results of a survey gauging Winchester business owners’ interest in a commercial recycling program.

Contact Seth Littrell at seth.littrell@winchestersuns.com.