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Bids for Delmont sewage work exceed estimate

| Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Replacing a problematic sewage-treatment station might be a bit more expensive than Delmont officials expected.

The low bid for the project was $866,000 from Lone Pine Construction in Bentleyville.

That's a far cry from the $450,000 to $600,000 price tag expected when officials began moving ahead on project last June.

The estimate has grown as requirements for pump station has changed and parts have become more expensive. Last month, borough engineer Kevin Brett said he expected the project bids to come in around $775,000.

Problems with the pump station — which is located in Salem but maintained by Delmont — stretch back about 20 years. The station is designed to collect waste and chemically treat it before it is processed at the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority in Murrysville.

The pump is under-sized for the population of the borough and requires more power than originally designed to function properly. Last year, officials replaced several seals on the four pumps after high pressure caused the seals to burst on an almost monthly frequency. Each time a pump breaks or malfunctions, it costs the borough between $5,000 and $10,000.

Officials have said the borough, which has an annual budget of about $940,000, will obtain a loan to pay for the project.

Bids were as high as just over $1 million, which came from J5 Construction in Washington County. Seven companies were solicited for bids, but only five responded, according to a bid sheet provided by the borough. Other bids ranged from $884,367 to $919,919. All bidding companies were located in western or central Pennsylvania.

Council is slated to award a contract on the project at its Aug. 13 meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. in the borough building.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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