And the contract for Phase II of the Chesterton Utility’s long term control
plan goes to Gariup Construction Company of Gary.
At a special meeting Wednesday evening, the Utility Service Board voted 4-0
to award the contract to Gariup, for its low bid of $8,471,800. The award
was contingent on the town’s completing the State Revolving Fund (SRF)
financing for the project. Member Scot McCord was not in attendance.
Phase II is at the heart of the Utility’s mandated long term control plan to
reduce sewage bypasses into the Little Calumet River and calls for the
construction of a 1.2-million tank in which to store stormwater-diluted
wastewater during heavy rain events until the treatment plant has had a
chance to catch up.
Gariup’s base bid for that project was $8,127,800. The next lowest was
$8,257,000, submitted by Thieneman Construction of Westfield, Ind. In fact,
though, all four bids were quite competitive, with the highest--$8,360,000,
submitted by Williams Brothers Construction Inc. of Peoria Heights,
Ill.--only 2.77 percent more than Gariup’s.
Gariup’s winning bid is 8.9 percent lower than Town Engineer Mark O’Dell’s
original Phase II estimate of $9.3 million, and Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann
said on Wednesday that it’s possible the town may borrow $500,000 less than
was originally thought for the whole of the long term control plan, with a
total estimated cost of $14.9 million.
“It’s really been a lot work and it’s coming together very well for the
ratepayers of this town,” Lukmann said. “The bids are tight and below the
estimate. Mark (O’Dell) and the team have done a tremendous job to get to
this point, on a very tight schedule.”
Lukmann noted that the Utility was under the gun to get the contract awarded
well in advance of the Sept. 30 loan closure date, because it is his
understanding that the interest rate is likely to increase by a full point
on Oct. 1.
Drewry Simmons Vornehm LLP
Lukmann did take one somewhat unusual action, asking the Service Board for
the authority to consult with Indianapolis law firm Drewry Simmons Vornehm
during Phase II, should a problem arise with construction.
“If issues arise, if I need a second opinion, if the need arises,” Lukmann
explained. “I don’t know if it will but it may.”
Members voted 4-0 to give Lukmann that authority.
Lukmann added that he and attorney Mike Drewry have litigated previous
municipal construction cases together.