County opens bids on bridge, Winesburg wastewater plant

County opens bids on bridge, Winesburg wastewater plant

Image Credit: Dave Mast

The Holmes County commissioners meeting room in The Old Jail in Millersburg was standing room only on Monday, July 18 when the commissioners, Holmes County engineer Chris Young and his team opened bids for a trio of county projects that saw representatives from several construction companies in attendance.

Contract A for the Winesburg Sanitary Sewer and Wastewater Treatment Project was bid upon by six contractors, and Contract B for the collection system line work to the sewer system saw no bids.

The third bid opening was for the County Road 23 bridge on Wally Road near Loudonville, a project that has taken on a far greater cost over the past months as prices for supplies and materials continue to skyrocket.

Young opened bids for Contract A, which included Stanley Miller Construction at $3,275,103, Tuscon Construction at $3,422,733, Simonson Construction at $3,098,690, Workman Industrial Services at $2,991,155, RG Zachrich at $3,639,000 and Kirk Bros. Co. Inc. at $3,421,000.

Young’s estimate for the job came in at $3,391,960.

Commissioner Joe Miller said it was encouraging to finally see these bids coming in for the treatment facility.

“We’ve been working on this for five, six, seven years,” Miller said. “We have had meeting upon meeting, and the people of Winesburg have been very patient and cooperative because this is very much needed.”

That was the good news. That none of the companies bid on Contract B of the project, which Young estimated to be around $2,315,587, was perplexing to the commissioners.

Young said with no bids, it is a matter of following up and rebidding the project.

“We will reach out to the contractors and see why we didn’t get any bids, and I will inform (the commissioners) as soon as I know,” Young said.

Young said the engineer’s office would review each of the bids and reply to the commissioners with a recommendation as soon as possible.

Young said because the treatment plant takes longer to build, the county will be fine in rebidding Contract B. He said the lead time on bringing in some of the treatment plant equipment can be lengthy, so he said the county’s desire to begin as soon as possible will allow for a lag in bringing in the equipment.

The county also received two bids for the Holmes County Road 23 bridge project. Ruhlin Co. submitted a bid of $10,542,616.67 while Great Lakes Construction submitted a bid of $12,635,700.05.

The discrepancy of more than $2 million aside, the commissioners were astounded by the amount of each bid submission because they said when they first began exploring the project the expected cost was far less.

“That’s how much supplies and materials have gone up,” commissioner Joe Miller said. “I was shocked when Chris read those amounts, but that is what we are dealing with right now, not just here, but everywhere.”

In other commissioner news, Miller said the preliminary meeting to discuss the erection of the new Holmes County Health District building on Glen Drive in Millersburg took place, and that marks an encouraging step.

Miller said the meetings are in the preliminary stages, and talks on finances included everything except the dumbwaiter and landscaping. He said the initial cost for the building was around the $5.5 million range, but there remains plenty of negotiating and work before the county agrees to anything.

“We are a long way away from buttoning this thing up,” Miller said.

The county is currently working with Classical Construction, which will head up the building process, and Miller said they wouldn’t want to sign off on any number as of now because of the volatility of the construction market.

“We’ve got time, and hopefully prices will come down by the end of the year. That might help us,” Miller said.

The building will include a large generator so it can be used as a disaster shelter that could be heated or cooled during a natural disaster.

Miller said throughout the construction process, the county hopes to utilize the skills of local contractors as much as possible.

“We like to keep things local and support our local businesses whenever possible,” Miller said.

“Seeing the important role the health department plays in our county, it’s high time the health department gets its own building,” commissioner Dave Hall said. “They’ve been in temporary quarters with Job & Family Services too long.”

Miller said the health department’s role in the county is critical, and the county needs to do whatever necessary to ensure the Holmes County Health Department doesn’t suffer the fate of being integrated into a neighboring health department like Stark County.

“We appreciate our health commissioner and our board and the work they’ve done over the past couple years in keeping our county open and successful,” Miller said.

He said the commissioners don’t want to have the state come in, look at the state of the health department facilities and say the county’s health department isn’t adequate.