P'burg water project put out to bid

— Routt County is seeking bids for the construction of a new Phippsburg water treatment building this week after Routt County formally buying the property for it Friday.

"(We are) really happy to be moving forward and overcoming the last of many hurdles that have been set before us," said Michael Zopf, Routt County Environmental Health director. "Hopefully, for the community's sake, we'll be able to build it with the budget we have now."

The county started work on the project three years ago, but construction has yet to begin because of delays caused by higher-than-expected costs and difficulties building on property owned by Union Pacific Railroad.

Now, Zopf estimates that a contract will be awarded in early June, with construction beginning in July and completing before the end of the year.

When the project went out to bid last year, the low bid was $327,000, Zopf said. Because the scope of the project has not changed, and the new location should be more accessible, Zopf said he hopes this year's bids are similar in price.

The county purchased the property for the new meter and chlorination building from the Iacovetto family for $8,000. The parcel is adjacent to Colorado Highway 131 just south of the Phippsburg city limits.

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

Routt County has received a grant of $300,000 and loan of $131,000 from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to bring the water facility up to state standards. Water rates also have been increased to help pay for the improvements, with another increase expected at the beginning of 2005.

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