VALPARAISO | Contracts for construction of the new Public Works Department campus were awarded Friday, totaling about $5.67 million by the city's Board of Public Works and Safety.
Public Works Director Matt Evans said he hopes crews can start clearing the site at Valparaiso's sewage treatment plant in January and construction can be complete before winter sets in next year.
The city issued bonds totaling $6.7 million for the project.
Only one item for which bids were received was not awarded. Evans said he wanted more time to study the low bid for the fabric building to be used for salt storage because he was not familiar with the brand proposed by Specialty Construction Inc.
Specialty's bid of $89,000 was more than double the original estimate but was half the amount of the lowest bid opened two months ago. The city delayed awarding the contracts until new bids were sought on three items that came in extraordinarily high and one for which no bids were received. The new bids were opened earlier this week.
The proposal to install a rain harvesting system to capture the roof runoff from the 80,000 square feet of building space still is under consideration, too. Evans said he hasn't given up on it but is looking for grants or other options to fund it.
The cost was estimated between $80,000 and $100,000 for the system to collect the rain in an underground tank for use in washing vehicles, making salt brine, watering trees and landscaping and other things.
The annual bond payment of $547,000 is being shared by the public works and utilities departments. The utilities will house most of its office operations in a portion of the new campus and pay about $129,000 a year. The public works portion of the payment is coming from revenue that previously was used to pay off a park bond issue.
Chester Inc. will receive a total of $620,816 for architectural and construction management services on the project, and the city had to pay $326,240 in legal and other fees associated with the issuance of the bonds. Total cost of construction, with the salt building, would be $5.75 million.