The first round of bids that came back to replace the town’s water piping system were way over the Elkford’s $1.4 million budget for the project, leading staff to send out two smaller RFPs instead.
On October 23, Elkford council heard from staff who reported that the design portion of the project is awarded to McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd., but the bids for the building of the water pressure monitoring cells and the installation were far too high.
This has led staff to break up the project into two portions, sending out one tender for the cells, and the other for the installation.
The district has been working on replacing the water pipe system because one portion of the town’s water pressure is inconsistent with the others, which is damaging the pipes. The district received a grant from the province’s Clean Water and Wastewater Fund to implement a system that stabilizes water pressure across town.
“So before it was all one project,” said Mayor Dean McKerracher. “It’ll give our local contractors the chance to bid on the actual backhoe work itself.”
He says that the cells will be installed by the city and they will hire an electrician to hook them up, which the Mayor says will hopefully be more cost efficient.
The original tender process closed on May 31 and work on the project was expected to start in the summer. The provincial grant that was issued for the project has been extended to accommodate the work being done after the winter.
“We’ll probably start early in the spring,” said McKerracher, explaining that the cells will be shipped once the town is ready to dig up ground and install, so that they are not sitting in storage, or having to be winterized. The mayor does not have an estimate of how long the work will take once it gets underway, but he says that water will be shut off to homes section by section as they replace the lines.
He says the crews will likely install the cells first, then replace piping.