Carson City supervisors OK 2nd phase of wastewater project

The Board of Supervisors on Thursday approved three contracts for the second phase of construction at the Water Resource Recovery Facility.

The board approved a construction contract not to exceed $7.98 million with K.G. Walters Construction Co., a design contract not to exceed $744,259 with Keller Associates Inc., and a contract not to exceed $598,392.02 for construction management services with HDR Engineering Inc.

The second phase of construction will include the lining of the emergency overflow pond, as required by law, and work on the headworks north lift station which should reduce odor at the plant.

K.G. Walters was the contractor on the first phase of construction at the plant, completing that project a year early, and was the lowest responsive bidder on the second phase. The contract with Keller Associates, which is already working on the design, extends an existing contract now totaling $1.96 million.

The final contract for construction management services for the 18-month project received the most discussion.

Supervisor Karen Abowd said a constituent who works in construction said the cost was excessive, and Supervisor Lori Bagwell asked whether the rate was negotiated.

The contract provides a senior project manager full-time for the life of the project and about 70 hours total for a project principal, accounting project controller, and administrative, each billing 2.87 times the average rate to cover costs of insurance and other benefits as well as for the services of HDR Engineering.

Rick Cooley, construction manager, said the city did negotiate the contract and some comparable agencies charge as much as 3.4 times the average rate.

He also said the contract is billable by the hour so the cost will be reduced if it’s completed early.

Darren Schulz, director, Public Works, said the project requires a full-time manager.

“We do (have the expertise on staff) but then he could only do this and we have 20 to 30 other projects we would have to hire someone else to manage,” said Schulz.

The board also approved the refinancing of water bonds and the issuance of $7 million in new bonds to pay for the completion of the east-west transmission line project to bring water from Minden to the Quill Water Treatment plant.

The refinancing would save an estimated $3.3 million, but can only be done if the savings is reinvested in another water project. The refinancing was recommended by the Utility Finance Oversight Committee.

The city may issue revenue bonds instead of general obligation bonds, depending on the interest rates of each option, after Supervisor Brad Bonkowski raised concerns about the lag time between refinancing the old bonds and issuing new ones.

The refinancing could be done by August, but general obligation bonds couldn’t be issued until January while an issuance of revenue bonds could be turned around by October.

The supervisors also approved the annual allocation of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

A committee of five volunteers recommended $20,000 for Ron Wood Family Resource Center’s Reach Up! program; $10,000 to Food For Thought for its Summer Food Bridge for Hungry Children program; and $3,000 to St. Vincent de Paul for its emergency financial assistance.

Public Works is receiving $268,892 for pedestrian improvements along College Parkway, between Carson Street and Northgate Road; and Parks, Recreation, & Open Space is getting $139,940 for its Long Ranch Park Pedestrian Access Ramp Replacement project.

Ron Wood had requested $50,000 and Belinda Saavedra, family advocate, said the group would likely have to curtail plans to expand the program into schools if it only received $20,000.

The city may receive additional CDBG funds so the board approved the allocations and added that the first $8,000 in additional money would go to Ron Wood and any more would be applied to the Long Ranch project.

The signature lines on all the approved contracts on Thursday had to be amended because Jason Link, chief financial officer, left his job on May 21.

Sheri Russel, deputy chief financial officer, is currently running the Finance Department, and a transition plan is being brought to the board, probably at its June 21 meeting, said Nancy Paulson, interim city manager.

In addition, Adriana Fralick, chief deputy district attorney, is now interim deputy city manager.

The meeting started with the supervisors presenting former City Manager Nick Marano with a framed aerial photo of Carson City with a plaque for his four years of service.

“I’ve never been more proud to be part of an organization,” said Marano.

Marano left on June 1, and is now market president for GTI Nevada, a medical and retail marijuana supplier.


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