It was the beginning of the end for the landfill expansion project last night. The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly approved a handful of contracts for Phase III of the project during its regular meeting, in addition to passing an ordinance related to the landfill’s budget. Phase III of the project will construct the leachate treatment plant facility and is the final phase of the lateral expansion project.
First up on the agenda in terms of the landfill was a public hearing on an ordinance that amended the project’s budget to include a $3.3 million loan from the Alaska Clean Water Fund. Borough Manager Bud Cassidy said the loan is needed in order to complete the construction of the wastewater treatment plant.
“As you know the first round of bids came in too high. We made some modifications to the bid specs that went out again and these new beds came in closer to the engineers estimate. This ordinance also identifies that the total project cost for the landfill has risen from the $28,820,288 that you approved to roughly and approximately $32 million.”
Cassidy said it is essentially moving money from one fund to another. The ordinance passed the assembly 4-1 with Assemblyman Mel Stephens voting against it. Stephens said he had a number of concerns and reservations about the ordinance, as well as many unanswered questions.
Stephens also voted against both landfill-related contracts that were before the assembly last night. The first contract was for code compliance review services from PC Associates out of Orange, California.
“What I don’t understand in this instance is why we are sending $35,000 of borough money to Orange, California, to do this particular code compliance review.”
In essence, the company is being hired to review the drawings and designs for the leachate treatment facility and make sure everything is in compliance with local, state and federal codes. Assemblywoman Chris Lynch said she fully supported the peer review and the insurance it will provide.
“Peer reviews are common industry practice. I’ve been involved in several projects where the peer review was able to find errors within the drawings or conflicts within the drawings or just as general questions that have saved several hundred dollars, several tens of thousands of dollars on the project, up front, so that we’re not paying for change orders to a contractor. It’s insurance, it’s quality control, and we’re being responsible in managing our construction documents. We’d like to have really firm documents to build this project by.”
Cassidy said the wastewater treatment facility is a very technical building that will house technical equipment, and borough staff recognized that further expertise would be needed in reviewing the designs. He said PC Associates has worked with the borough in the past for projects like the high school and long term care facility, and he felt confident in their economical and efficient way of doing things.
The final contract on the agenda regarding the landfill was for the actual construction of the leachate building and treatment equipment. Cassidy explained the contract and bid process.
“It includes construction of the building as well as installation of equipment to treat leachate to state drinking water standards. The project was bid earlier only to exceed engineers estimate. As I mentioned earlier we revised the RFP documents, went out to bid again, actually increased the amount of bidders and the low bidder received was ASRC SKW Eskimos Inc. of Anchorage in the amount of $9,327,000 and staff is recommending approval of this contract.” That contract was approved 4-1, with Assemblyman Stephens voting against it.