Town of Lake City received welcome news last month from the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority (CWRPDA) in the form of a $330,900 forgiveness to reduce an already approved direct loan from $500,000 to $169,100.
The remaining principal of the loan will be in the form of a direct loan with a term of 30 years at an interest rate of 0 percent. The loan money will be used to complete Phase II of the waterline replacement project in Lake City.
CWRPDA provides low-cost financing to governmental agencies in Colorado primarily for water and wastewater infrastructure development.
Disadvantaged communities can qualify for this new program if the population is less than 10,000 and the median household income of the community is less than 80 percent of the state’s average median household income.
The Colorado State Revolving Fund is funded by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) capitalization grants. The capitalization grants require that a certain percentage of the grant be allocated to disadvantaged communities in the form of additional subsidy which includes principal forgiveness loans.
Design and Engineering grants, in the form of a principal forgiveness loan, are CWRPDA’s primary vehicle for awarding primary forgiveness. If there are remaining additional subsidy funds that need to be allocated, those funds are awarded as principal forgiveness based on where the disadvantaged community is in the application process and their prioritization score per the intended use plan of the respective program. In Lake City’s case, this is the Drinking Water Revolving Fund.
According to CWRPDA’s John Williams, who spoke with SILVER WORLD on August 24, “the waterline replacement project in Lake City is a great example of CWRPDA’s State Revolving Fund meeting our objective of helping communities like Lake City make expensive but necessary projects a reality, while helping us meet our requirements as well.”
“Lake City was in the right place at the right time as far as the timing of this goes,” he continued, “and the best part of my job is breaking news like this to towns like yours.”
Two bids were received and were being considered by Town of Lake City for completion of Phase II. The bids came from Rundle Construction of Hotchkiss, Colorado and Williams Construction of Norwood, Colorado.
According to project engineer Joanne Fagan, both bids were “well under what we can afford and far less than expected. They are very close, dollar-wise.”
A special meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, August 24, so that Mayor Bruce Vierheller and trustees Jud Hollingsworth, Steve Ryals, Richard Moore, Marty Priest, Henry Woods and Jeff Heaton could discuss, in executive session, “positions relative to matters that may be subjected to negotiations, developing strategy for negotiations and instructing negotiators.”
A special session, open to the public, then followed with one action item: “discussion and possible action to consider awarding Phase II contract for the water project.”
Phase II is expected to begin, according to project engineer Joanne Fagan, “sometime after Labor Day.”
The asbestos concrete pipe that was originally installed in 1967 is being replaced with heavy guage C-900 PVC piping. The piping is installed in trenches between seven feet deep for frost protection.
The lines are replaced 100 feet at a time, and construction crews will begin working on the north side of the bridge at Gunnison Avenue and move as far north as time and weather allow. According to Fagan, “as far north as 7th Street, and we are also planning to add the block on 3rd Street from Silver to Bluff. 3rd Street is part on the additional work in Phase I. The other work they are doing in Phase I is a block of Vine from Gunnison to Henson. The other work on Vine is already done. We are not doing more south of Vine at this time. Phase II is going to do a block of Park from Spruce to Cleborn.”
Additional areas where water line replacement will occur: “in Wade’s Addition from about a block south of Vine Street to the bridge on south Gunnison and on Vine on both sides of Gunnison Avenue and on Park Street,” Fagan said. “We might try to loop another dead end on the south side of town if Phase II funds allow, but most of Phase II will be focused on the north side of the bridge. The idea is to have the contractor do the work on the highway and public works can work on some of the other lines which have a few less challenges as time allows.”
At the August 24 special meeting, Mayor Vierheller and all trustees were present, with the exception of Steve Ryals who was absent due to illness.
During the discussion regarding Phase II, Mayor Vierheller said, “we will be going down the highway, so it is going to be dangerous and costly, but it is something the town really needs. Joanne, do we know what we will be dealing with once we get to the bridge?”
“Even CDOT doesn’t know what’s at the bridge. We will find out,” Fagan replied.
Public Works Director Greg Levine said, “We don’t know where the waterline turns from asbestos concrete to plastic. We are hoping it is somewhere around Dan’s Fly Shop near the A-frame before the Post Office.”
Trustee Richard Moore registered his opinion, saying, “I feel like we should stick with Rundle. We have heard no negativity about them whatsoever. Not from Greg or Joanne or the community at large. It is my opinon that the best thing to do would be to stay with Rundle.”
At the August 17 regular meeting, trustees commented that Rundle’s equipment was already in Lake City and that the experience with them had, during Phase I, been nothing but pleasant. Additionally, that the Rundle crews already knew the “lay of the land” and the complexities of the waterline system.
At the August 24 meeting, Levine agreed with Moore, saying, “In Phase I, as is always the case with projects of this magnitude, there will always be issues, headaches, unexpected things. Regardless of any problems we ran into, the Rundle crews handled it with total professionalism. There was never any negativity at all.”
Trustee Henry Woods agreed, saying, “I like Rundle and the way they have handled everything in Phase I. They are very consciencious. They had a bit of a mess on 3rd Street to deal with and it was a challenge for them. But they really handled everything well.”
Mayor Vierheller also agreed. He said, “I like the working relationship we have with Rundle. I feel like the numbers of the two bids are close enough to being the same.”
“When you consider the change orders and add-ons, for ninety percent of the funding, Rundle is the low bidder,” said Fagan.
Trustee Marty Priest added, “No matter who the contract is awarded to, I just want to say that if they need additional employees to assist them with any additional work, that they will try and hire local help.”
All trustees, Fagan, Levine and Mayor Vierheller were in agreement with this sentiment.
Trustee Jeff Heaton then made the motion to award the contract to Rundle, with the additional work stipulated as, “Park Street from Spruce to Cleborn, Gunnison from the hydrant until asbestos turns to plastic pipe, one extra highway bore and possibly dead end loops on Sixth Street and more with adjustments to the service line.”
The motion was seconded by Jud Hollingsworth and the $1,520,410 contract for the Phase II waterline replacement project to be awarded to Rundle Construction of Hotchkiss, Colorado, passed unopposed.