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Detectives on the scene of Springfield car fire

City likely to pay $17.6M for sewer plant

Urbana’s proposed wastewater treatment plant might be more than $1 million cheaper than anticipated after the city received two new bids on the project this week.

The city likely will move ahead with a roughly $17.6 million bid from the Dugan & Meyers Construction Co., probably presenting it to city council members next week, said Chad Hall, superintendent for the wastewater treatment plant. The city also received an $18.2 million bid from the Danis Industrial Construction Co.

Council members had previously approved plans to move ahead with a $19 million proposal for the treatment plant upgrades, which has been described as one of the largest projects in the city’s history.

But the city had to start the bidding process over because the estimated costs came in significantly greater than the initial $14 million estimate. A state law requires cities to seek new bids for a project if bids exceed 10 percent of the original estimate.

Several factors, including higher costs for construction materials, caused the bids to come in much higher than anticipated.

The city modified its plans slightly to save money and accept equipment for use in the facility from more manufacturers, Hall said.

Council members will have to move forward quickly with the proposal to seek a loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance. That agency’s meeting is later this month, Hall said, so council members will have to approve the plan at their next council meeting to prevent delays in construction.

Council members have said the project is a necessity because the current treatment plant on Muzzy Road is nearing its capacity.

The city plans to build a new facility capable of treating about 3.5 million gallons a day to encourage new business growth. The older facility would remain in place and treat about 1 million gallons per day, for a total of 4.5 million gallons between the sites.

Sewer rates for residents will likely increase over the next three years to pay for the project, beginning in January 2014. Average monthly bills could rise by about $6 each year for the next three years. Council members are also expected to discuss the proposed sewer rate increase at their meeting next week.

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