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New round of bids saves East Vandergrift half-million dollars on separation project

| Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, 1:31 a.m.

A second round of bidding on East Vandergrift's stormwater/sewage separation project will save the borough close to a half-million dollars.

Ligonier Construction of Laughlintown was the apparent low bidder Monday morning at $4.54 million when nine proposals were opened by borough officials.

After the bid is further reviewed by project engineer Craig Bauer of KLH Engineering, council will vote on the proposal at a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the borough building.

“It was much better this time around,” council President James Staczak said of the bid opening. “We saved a half million dollars by this new bidding.”

An initial round of bids were opened on Nov. 1, and the four lowest bids all were flawed. Submitted proposals excluded items such as an e-verify requirement that a company doesn't employ undocumented workers and federal requirement confirming that potential employees from low-income areas will be considered.

The fifth-lowest bidder, A. Merante Construction of West Mifflin, submitted a $5.15 million bid, but that was $148,000 more than the borough had to spend.

Council at its Nov. 4 meeting decided to reopen the bidding.

Ligonier Construction beat out Chivers Construction of McKean, Erie County, by just $2,000. Also in the ballpark was R.A. Monzo Construction of Latrobe at $4.57 million and Glenn Johnson Inc. of McKeesport, which checked in with a $4.58 million bid.

Other biders were A. Merante, D&M Contracting of New Alexandria, S&E Utility Consulting of Harrison City, Terra Works of Clarion and S.E.T. Inc. of Lowellville, Ohio.

All nine bidders in this round complied with the project requirements.

Bauer said the state Department of Environmental Protection and Westmoreland County officials will review Ligonier Construction's proposal before the final PennVEST funding approval in mid-February.

The project, which will affect 325 homes and businesses in the borough, is scheduled to start in April.

The $5 million project will be funded by a PennVEST loan, a PennVEST grant and a county grant.

Budget vote coming

Council on Monday is expected to adopt next year's budget of $184,000 — the same amount as this year. Under the budget, real estate taxes would remain at 20 mills.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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