Friday, February 24, 2012

DWSD Cancels Biosolids RFP, Plans March 15-16, 2012 Biosolids Management Symposium (UPDATED)

Following her announcement (here) that DWSD was terminating its RFP for Contract PC-781, Director Sue McCormick has outlined plans for a 2-day Biosolids Management Symposium to be held on March 15-16th. The objective of this event is to "gather industry information to optimize the re-procurement of PC-781."

DWSD plans to invite two participants each from large wastewater utilities, academia,  national industry experts, and local representatives from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Board of Water Commissioners. DWSD plans to invite several (wholesale) customer representatives, as identified by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), to participate as well. 

DWSD will be represented by at least four staff members including (presumably), Director McCormick.  The teams who submitted proposals last August, and any new teams or prospective bidders, would also be invited to attend. 

Among the subjects to be covered:
  • Overview of DWSD WWTP processes, history, current conditions, regulatory compliance history
  • Plant tour
  • Overview of DWSD biosolids production history, needs and objectives for biosolids management
  • Identification of technologies that may be appropriate for DWSD's needs
  • Issues in contracting for biosolids management services
  • Risks and risk mitigation strategies 
The symposium will be held at a hotel (TBD) near Metro Airport.

Update (2/27): I understand now that this symposium may not be a public event. If things change, I'll pass along any new information.

For more about DWSD Update, click here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Weiss Construction Nets More Than $59 Million in New Contracts, Change Order Work with DWSD

Weiss Construction Co., LLC (Detroit) was awarded two contracts, and a change order  totaling more than $59 million. These contracts were approved by the Board of Water Commissioners earlier this afternoon at its regularly scheduled meeting. 
  • PC-783 (U/G Electrical Ductbank Repair) . . . $27,620,000
  • PC-787 (Replacement of Belt Filter Presses) . . .  $30,216,000

But wait, there's more . . . 

Weiss Construction also received approval for a not-to-exceed (NTE) $1.25 million change order to Contract PC-776 ("RAS Pumps, Influent Mixed Liquor System and MCC Improvement for Secondary Clarifiers"). Based on questions by the Board and answers by Assistant Director Sam Smalley and Deputy Director Darryl Latimer, this change order is to replenish a provisional allowance that was spent by DWSD on other, unrelated contracts for sudden, unexpected needs.   

In other contract news:
  • The Board removed from the Agenda a proposed $14,650,467 contract for Detroit Radio Team for design-build services related to DWS-882, “SCADA Radio Network Upgrades.” Detroit Radio Team is a joint venture between Motor City Electric and PCI. The Chair did not explain why this contract was removed from the Agenda.  
  • The Board also removed from the Agenda a $500,000 legal services contract (LS-1530) for Miller Canfield. Again, no explanation.
  • The Board did approve a $298,386 increase, and a 24 month extension for Camp Dresser & McKee (CDM) for Contract CS-1364 ("Oakwood CSO Control Facility and Pump Station").
  • The Board also approved a $5,724,850 design/build contract with Detroit Electrical Services, LLC for Contract No. DWS-881 ("Data Center Reliability/Availability Improvements") 
  • Regarding the Biosolids contract (PC-781), the Director indicated during her oral report that DWSD is going to cancel this RFP. The Department plans to host a symposium in Detroit and will discuss various ideas/technologies with experts and then come out with a more comprehensive and well-defined RFP.  The Director encouraged Board members to participate in the symposium (either through committees or assignment or personally). Stay tuned for more details (when and where) 
For more about DWSD Update, click here.

Clarification (2/23): Several of you wrote me asking whether I was suggesting that the contracts awarded to Weiss Construction were excessive or unnecessary (ie., "pork").  No, that's not the case.  I was in the BFP Complex II a couple of years ago, and can attest first hand to the need for new belt filter presses. The picture of bacon was a reference to "bringing home the bacon" and intended to be congratulatory.   

Photo credit (here)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Walsh Construction Awarded $92.9 Million Contract for Ann Arbor WWTP Project

Earlier this evening, the Ann Arbor City Council tentatively approved a $92,929,000 contract to Walsh Construction for major renovations to the City of Ann Arbor's wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).  As we reported (here), Walsh Construction was third bidder at the time this project was bid on January 11, 2012.

After the bid opening, the City and its engineering consultant, Malcolm Pirnie, met with the three low bidders and solicited additional information about their bids and prior experience building comparable projects.  

At tonight's meeting, officials cited a lack of comparable wastewater construction experience by the low and second bidders. City officials discounted Granger's recently-completed $70 million D.K. Shine Water Treatment Plant expansion for Wyoming Twp. because it wasn't a wastewater project and only had one tie-in at the end of the project, rather than the multiple tie-ins that will be required over the course of the Ann Arbor WWTP project.

Tentative approval of Walsh Construction's contract is required for the City of Ann Arbor to obtain a low interest loan from the State Revolving Fund (SRF) program administered by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to finance construction.

For more about DWSD Update, click here.