2017-12-20 / Front Page

Nine bid on Paw Paw water system upgrade

by Kate Evans

The proposed $1.5 million Paw Paw municipal water system project is moving along after a Thursday, December 14 bid opening.

The project manager has selected the lowest bidder he will recommend to the Paw Paw council at a town meeting.

Paw Paw received a $1.5 million Small Cities Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in March 2016 to replace aging water lines and improve the water system’s reliability. The Paw Paw municipal water system serves more than 240 households.

Thrasher Group project manager and engineer Steve Buchanan said on Friday morning he has completed the bid tabulations. Buchanan will recommend low bidder Pro Contracting, Inc. of Lost Creek, to do the water system work. Pro Contracting submitted a bid of $987,980 to replace 9,500 feet of aging water lines in the town’s service area, replace valves and hydrants and add 1,500 feet of new water line to provide two feeds to the northern section of town.

The Paw Paw Water Works infrastructure was originally put in place during the 1930’s.

Buchanan said he will also submit his contractor recommendation to the Region 9 Planning and Development Council and to the West Virginia Development Office for their approval. The West Virginia Development Office manages administration of the funds. Region 9 Planning and Development Council ensures that all HUD paperwork and requirements for compliance are met.

Buchanan said that nine contractors submitted bids for the project. All were qualified contractors, but the low bid is recommended. He expected the Paw Paw Town Council to discuss and take action on the bid at their January 2 meeting.

Paw Paw Town Clerk Ron Davis said the town recorder would put together and finalize the agenda for the January 2 council meeting on Thursday, December 28.

Buchanan said the project should address most of the major needs of the Town of Paw Paw’s water system.

The Thrasher Group engineering firm previously evaluated the Paw Paw municipal water system, the water tank, leaky pipes, how long the pipes had been in service and areas that had significant prior leaks and repairs.

Timeline

After the bid is approved, there will be a couple month process of getting all the bonds and contracts in place, Buchanan said. He hoped that by March 1 the contractor would be on board and they could start ordering supplies and possibly begin work, weather permitting. He said the total project will take around six months to complete. All permits are in place.

The project had been originally expected to go out for bid last April and begin during the summer, but was delayed. Buchanan said that it took some time to acquire the rights of way for the project.

The town filed three property condemnation cases in Morgan County Circuit Court in November to get access to land in line of the water system upgrade project.

The town, represented by Trump & Trump law firm, has filed petitions to use eminent domain to get an easement on three lots for the underground water line.

The $1.5 million estimated cost for the Paw Paw water system improvements includes all fees and permitting and administrative costs such as engineering, accountant and attorney fees and right of way permit fees. The town received full grant funding for the project.

Without the grant funding, the upgrades would cost $6,497 per customer on the water system, said project documents.

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