City Council awards $2 million in bids for water system upgrades

The Merrill Common Council voted Tuesday night to accept two bids totaling just under $2 million for improvements to the city’s water system.
At the Nov. 29 Merrill Water and Sewage Committee meeting, city staff updated committee members on the water system improvement bids which were opened on Nov. 18. With engineering construction management and inspection expenses, the proposed water system improvements will cost Merrill water customers over $2 million.
There were 10 bids for the water main improvements with Kruczek Construction, Inc. of Green Bay getting the job with a low bid of $286,286.86. Bids from other firms ranged from $322,565 to $478,855.50.
There were nine bids for the well house improvements and construction of the new manganese treatment facility. The project was awarded to the low bidder, Eagle Construction Company, Inc. of Wisconsin Rapids at $1,664,900. The next lowest bid was for $1,678,000. The other seven bids were over $200,000 higher and ranged from $1,871,134 to $1,938,000.
Engineer Mike Forslund from Strand and Associates was expected to be at the Committee of the Whole and Common Council meetings Tuesday night to respond to any questions regarding the bidding and contracting processes.
Finance Director Kathy Unertl reports that “there is likely to be some water rate increases for Merrill water utility customers due to these major water system improvements.” The city’s utility rate consultant will be reviewing and updating fiscal information beginning in April 2012 and then developing a recommendation for Water and Sewage Committee and Common Council consideration. Any water rate increase would also require Wisconsin Public Service Commission review and approval.

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