Tariffs, Contractor Demand Push Wastewater Treatment Plant Project Up $30 Million
Sep 25, 2018, 6:54 PM | Updated: 9:25 pm
LOGAN, Utah – In just two years, the bid price for a new wastewater treatment plant that would serve seven cities in the Cache Valley, and Utah State University has shot up by 30 million dollars.
“I was totally floored,” Logan Mayor Holly Daines said. “You expect that over a couple of years, there may be a little bit of a price increase, but 30 million dollars, that’s a really big shock to us.”
Daines says plans for the project had to be adjusted and delayed after studies of the soil in the area called for stronger footings, and a smaller overall footprint. Now that the city is ready to move forward, she says they’re having to come up with more money. Daines blames part of the increase on steel tariffs, but an even larger part on the rising cost and demand for contractors.
“It’s great that our economy is booming, but those prices have really driven the cost of any construction project up,” Daines said.
Daines says the city’s current wastewater treatment plant does not meet newer EPA standards, in terms of nitrogen and phosphorus levels being released downstream. She says the city has no choice but to find the money. City leaders will meet with the Division of Water Quality, or DEQ on Wednesday to ask for a larger loan, and 30 years to repay the money, instead of the standard 20.
Mark Nielsen, Senior Project Engineer for Logan City points out that the initial estimate for the project cost came in at 97 million. That rose to 106 million in 2016, and now over 135 million.
“Keeps going up every time we wait,” Nielsen said. “(We) think we’re about ready to get things resolved, and we go out and get a revised price, and it’s 10 million, 20 million more than the last one.”
Nielsen doesn’t expect to get a firm answer from the DEQ right away, but hopes to get a good indication whether their request stands a good chance. If not, city leaders will have to look elsewhere.
“Until we get started, prices keep creeping up on us,” Nielsen said.
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