Thursday, September 24, 2009

SW-548 Contract Approved By Water Board

On September 23, 2009, less than a month after bids were opened, the Board of Water Commissioners yesterday approved Contract No. SW-548 with Colasanti Construction Services for $49,680,368.

DWSD Contract SW-548, which was bid on September 1, 2009, involves a major overhaul of the Southwest Water Treatment Plant Sludge Treatment and Waste Washwater Treatment Facilities. The contract duration is 1,285 calendar days.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Promoted to DWSD Director from Interim Director, Pamela Turner Winning Praise

The Detroit Free Press has a nice article today praising Pamela Turner's role as Director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Initially promoted to Interim Director in September, 2008, Ms. Turner was recently appointed to Director by Mayor Bing a few months ago. The Mayor's appointment also brought to a halt a national search for a new director.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Water Consumption Continues to Decline, Rate Increases Predicted

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department reports that water consumption in 2008 fell 12%, or about 16 billion gallons. From 2007, water consumption has dropped 15%, or 23 billion gallons.

Due to DWSD's significant fixed costs, including bond debt and other fixed operating costs, a significant decline in water consumption (revenue) will mean that rates for next year are bound to increase even more than usual.

And as we reported last December, a decrease in water revenues may contribute to further delays in court-ordered improvements to DWSD's system. Earlier this year, DWSD canceled two major tunnel contracts -- the Upper Rouge Tunnel and the Detroit River Outfall (DRO) Contract No. 2 -- worth over $600 million on grounds that they were too costly. Many other projects, which were slated for bidding earlier this year have been delayed.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Genesee County Pipeline Declared "Reckless Folly" by Times-Herald Newspaper

In an opinion piece entitled "Pipeline has the look of a boondoggle," The Times-Herald in Port Huron asserts that "Genesee County's proposal to spend $600 million on a water pipeline from Lake Huron is reckless folly."

The Times-Herald takes issue with Genesee County's rationale for the new pipeline, including capacity, cost, and reliability.
  • "Capacity is not an issue. The Detroit water line, which went into use about 35 years ago, was built to carry as much as 1.2 billion gallons of water each day. In actuality, demand has been far less."
  • While Genesee County has complained that Detroit has doubled its water rates in the past seven years from $9 million to $18 million, "At that rate, how many years would it take to earn back [the] $600 million [Genesee County proposes to spend on a new water line]?
  • "It's disturbing that Genesee County officials would complain of service disruptions . . . without mentioning how these were caused by a massive power outage in the [S]ummer of 2003 that affected much of the Midwest and Northeast."
Click here to read the rest of this article.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Colasanti Low Bidder on SW-548 Project

Earlier today, Colasanti Construction Services submitted the lowest bid for the SW-548 project. Colasanti beat out 5 other bidders for the project with a low bid of $49,680,368.

Colasanti------ $ 49,680,368
DeMaria------ $ 51,000,000
Walsh -------- $ 51,234,087
Walbridge ---- $ 51,397,000
Lakeshore ---- $ 52,835,824
Weiss ---------$ 57,890,000