With multiple deadlines facing the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District, a decision on whether or not to award a bid for the retrofit of the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant (ALT) will have to be made later this month.
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In July, the district received four bids to construct the plant with the low bid coming in at $10.8 million. Interim General Manager Gary Hoffmann reminded the board that the bids expire on Sept. 25.
Recently consulting engineer Webb Owen advised GDPUD to discuss potential changes to the plant with staff and Psomas, the engineering firm that designed the plant. Those design changes could potentially reduce the price of the new plant although the cost of paying for the redesigned plans could balance out any savings.
Hoffmann reported at Tuesday’s regular meeting that he had already discussed the proposed changes with Operations Manager Kelly Shively and he planned to talk to Psomas later in the week. He proposed having a special board meeting before Sept. 25 on the outcome of the discussions and to decide how to proceed with the bids.
In the meantime, Hoffmann noted that GDPUD does not have the financing (an executed loan contract) in place from either the USDA or the California Department of Public Health to move forward with the award of the construction contract.
According to the USDA, pursuit of a USDA loan for an amount beyond the $5 million originally sought will require a new application and if higher user rates are to required to support the cost of the loan, another Prop. 218 process would also have to be undertaken.
The district has since solicited helped from the California Rural Water Association in preparing an application for a loan from the State Revolving Fund. The deadline for submitting the application is Dec. 20.