GDPUD: Water plant redesign OK’d

By From page A1 | November 01, 2013

At a special meeting held Tuesday night, the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District approved redesigning the plans for the retrofit of the Auburn Trails Water Treatment Plant.

Doing so will save the district an estimated $1.05 million. The plant was estimated to cost $10.8 million based on the original plans.

The plant redesign will be done by Psomas, the engineering firm that prepared the original plans for the plant. The cost for their services is estimated at $102,700. That cost does not include having to re-bid the project, which will be an additional $20,000, according to Interim General Manager Gary Hoffmann.

By far the biggest cost saver in the redesign would be replacing a planned 300,000-gallon steel tank and pump station with a disinfection basin in the basement of the new filter building. That one change chipped $802,000 off the total price tag for the plant. It also eliminated the need to pump the filtered water into the tank as well as the need for variable frequency drives for the pumps, said Hoffmann. Other cost savings were achieved by revising the sludge drying beds, reducing some of the paving, deleting site work associated with the no-longer-needed tank and pump station, and revising the heating and cooling systems.

Hoffmann noted that when comparing what Psomas recommended as changes to the plant and those recommended by consulting engineer Webb Owen, many of the design changes were the same, although removing the tank was not one of Owen’s recommendations.

Previously Owen submitted a report that suggested changes to the plant’s design to cut its cost.

The board also reviewed an analysis prepared by Psomas of what the redesign would save in yearly operational costs. That amount was projected at $26,000 a year with almost all of the savings derived from lower electrical bills associated with removing the tank and pumps.

The board went on to discuss additional services Psomas might provide. One is for construction management services once retrofitting the plant is under way. Hoffmann said he also asked Psomas to put together a proposal for what they would charge for design services during construction, which would be a separate cost.

On a 5-0 vote, the board approved paying Psomas to redesign the plant. No timeline for completion of the new plans has been established yet.

In other actions, the board approved a yearly weed spraying project and a resolution giving the general manager the authority to file a construction loan application with the state to pay for the ALT upgrade project.

The district has until Dec. 20 to submit the application. At present the district is only pursuing a loan from the state for the ALT plant upgrade. Hoffmann said a new Proposition 218 process may be required based on the loan from the state.

Hoffmann also introduced the district’s new office manager, Diana Sanders, who started work this week. A resident of Grass Valley, Sanders said she would be relocating to the Georgetown area in the future. Her initial salary is $59,280 a year.

The next regular meeting of the board will be on Nov. 12, at 9 a.m. at district headquarters.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Dawn Hodson

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