Plant cost expected to come in close to estimate

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

City of Sweet Home Public Works Director Mike Adams is projecting a the total cost of the city’s new water treatment plant to come in just under the total estimate for the entire project.

Assuming no more change orders, which Adams said is improbable, the total cost will be $11.82 million. Estimates put the project at 11.84 million, a difference of about $17,000.

Actual costs for construction and engineering of the water intake structure, fish screen and water line from Foster Dam to the new treatment plant was $2 million.

The estimate for engineering on the plant was $1.2 million, and the construction contract, awarded to Pacific Excavation, was $8.6 million.

At this point, Adams is projecting engineering, design and oversight costs at $804,000, about $400,000 less than original estimated.

Change orders in the construction of the plant have increased the total projected construction costs to nearly $9 million, leaving the overall estimate approximately the same at this point.

New change orders could increase the cost, Adams said. The projects include approximately $400,000 in city funds, and the city will add another $600,000. The city also has borrowed $10 million from the state’s Clean Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund, for a total of $11 million in revenues to cover the project.

He is seeking an additional $1.5 million loan to cover remaining costs, he said. That will leave additional money, roughly $700,000, to cope with unforeseen problems resulting in additional change orders.

So far, the project has had 10 change orders, costing approximately $385,000, Adams said. The largest of the change orders was for additional excavation at a cost of $198,000.

The contractor ran into a hard rock layer after digging into the bank, Adams said, driving up the cost.

Other change orders ranged in cost from about $2,000 to $23,000.

They include widening the access road ($2,853); changing windows from vinyl to metal ($6,000); a water tap at 44th Avenue (about $7,700); the addition of a clear water overflow area ($23,000); stabilizing rock for a perforated drain ($14,000); and the addition of a retaining wall ($12,000) after learning that the construction fill the city was using failed to meet standards.

All of these were change orders dealt with unexpected problems, Adams said. In construction, there is always the possibility of running into unknown problems.