McKeesport Municipal Authority accepts bids for expansion

| Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Six companies' bids for state-mandated sewage system work were accepted by the engineering consultant to Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport.

The 15 contracts totaling $53,620,040 were made public at Tuesday's MACM board meeting.

However, they won't get action from that board until after an April 19 vote by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority on a $30 million loan.

Steve Greenberg of KLH Engineers Inc. said the funding request is equal to the total value of MACM's sewage treatment plant.

That did not stop action by the board on other aspects of the project mandated by state Act 537 at the MACM Tenth Ward plant and other locations between there and the Long Run flood control project.

The board approved eminent domain proceedings for parts of 13 properties, particularly for easements.

MACM solicitor Kenneth E. Kohl said eminent domain is under way with Wally & Joe's Welding Services along Walnut Street in Christy Park. A conference on the matter is slated April 12 in the chambers of Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Michael A. Della Vecchia.

Kohl has been busy on other legal matters as well, including a 2-inch-thick filing made in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh by Clean Water Action and Three Rivers Waterkeeper.

The two environmental groups are challenging the processing of water from Marcellus shale drilling sites.

MACM executive director Joseph Rost said Clean Water Action also turned over 174 postcards, 146 signed by McKeesport residents, asking the authority to stop taking the water from Green Disposal and Huntley & Huntley companies.

While board member and Mayor Regis T. McLaughlin suggested sending the cards back, Kohl noted that the authority had accepted them. He also advised the board not to say too much about the filing until he had a chance to review it.

Green Disposal is by far the larger of the two suppliers, paying $281,014.50 for January and February while H&H paid $646.80 in February alone.

MACM chairman and McKeesport public works director Nick Shermenti said the water pacts are important to the city, which gets $750,000 in annual payments from MACM that are put toward back debt.

“Without it they'd have a heck of a shortfall,” Shermenti said.

For the Act 537-mandated work Greenberg opened bids from some 70 companies two weeks ago and turned them over to PennVEST and MACM's directors, who may be able to act on the bids in May.

Galway Bay Corp. of Mt. Braddock, Fayette County, is apparent low bidder for six pacts at $34,472,000, covering work at the plant, on the west shore of the Youghiogheny River, and at Long Run, Ripple Road, Twenty-eighth Avenue and Cliff Street pumping stations.

Bronder Technical Services of Prospect, Butler County, is apparent low bidder for one contract at the Tenth Ward plant, but it totals $6,562,500.

Likewise, Independence Excavating of Independence, Ohio, is low bidder on one pact for $5,140,206, for work on the west shore of the Yough.

Allegheny City Electric of Pittsburgh is apparent low bidder for five contracts totaling $3,873,060 at the five pumping stations.

Kukurin Contracting Inc. of Export is apparent low bidder for a $1,888,888 job at the river crossing and a $1,683,386 job on the east shore of the Yough.

The board approved an $87,195.76 change order for work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

That work will raise the Monongahela River pool by 5 feet at the Tenth Ward plant and is tied to a planned removal of Elizabeth Lock and Dam 3.

Greenberg told the board that all Corps construction work at the MACM plant is complete and that remaining restoration work will be done in the spring.

The board also OK'd a two-year contract extension through the end of 2013 with some 30 employees represented by Utility Workers Union of America Local 433. The local approved that pact last week leaving a final paper to be signed by the two sides.

Kohl said there is a pay increase though the amount was not disclosed, an additional holiday and job classifications for five new posts.

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