Phippsburg system going to bid again

Construction to improve the Phippsburg water system will go to bid again, a step that potentially could result in a lower price for the delayed project.

Routt County commissioners decided last week to reject the bids they received last summer and ask for another set of bids.

New bids are necessary because when the first bids were submitted, it was assumed that the project would begin this fall and because the site for the new building could change, said Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak.

"We thought in fairness to the contractor who is the low bidder," the project should go out for bid again, Stahoviak said.

The original low bid was submitted by Precision Excavating of Hayden, with an estimated cost of about $335,000, Routt County Environmental Health Director Michael Zopf said.

Whether re-bidding the process could give a lower price remains to be seen, he said.

"We would have gone with (the low bidder), but now because of these uncertainties and other delays, the board felt it was best to just rebid it, which may or may not prove beneficial for the county," Zopf said.

Routt County has received a $300,000 grant and $131,000 loan from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for the project to bring the water facility up to state standards.

Phippsburg's current facility, built in 1980, can disinfect water and control corrosion, but under the Colorado Safe Drinking Water Regulations, the water also must be filtrated. The plant does not have enough space for filtration equipment, so a new building is necessary.

The county originally planned to build the new building on property owned by Union Pacific Railroad. Because of delays in those negotiations, the county recently initiated contract talks with Ray, Louise and Elvis Iacovetto for a different piece of land.

Bids on projects are guaranteed for 60 days, and because the project has not started, the original bid has expired. The low bidder was willing to try to work with the county, but Zopf said the county decided it would be better to re-bid because of the delays.

"At this point, to negotiate with the low bidder would be difficult because he'd want some sort of guarantee he wouldn't be hurt by building this thing in the winter," Zopf said.

The project likely will open for bidding by Jan. 1. It's possible that construction may be delayed until next spring, Zopf said.

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