At the Doddridge County Commission Meeting on April 20th, 2021, Jennifer Wilt and David Kimball spoke to the Commission and requested funding concerning a $416,000 overage on the Blandville water project.
When speaking with the Commission, Wilt indicated that the original grant was a 50/50 split grant with the Commission paying half and the grant provider, later identified as being the United States Economic Development Administration (USEDA), paying half.
At the time of the meeting, Wilt did not know whether half of the overrun would be covered by the USEDA; when the Commission approved her request, they allowed payment of up to $416,000, the total cost, in the event the USEDA did not cover half of the overrun.
When asked about the number of people the water line will serve, Wilt indicated two businesses and 15 households.
Wilt also indicated that the DCPSD had formally requested (see attached letter) an increase in the grant funds from the USEDA to cover 50% of the overrun and anticipates their answer within the week.
Upon further research, it was found that the estimated cost in 2018, which included all associated costs, was in the amount of $1,924,000. Construction bid costs in 2020 were $1,858,730 and did not include the administrative costs that are associated with the project.
In the attached letter to the USEDA, Wilt explains the $416,000 overrun comes from an increase in costs for telemetry, a water booster station price increase of $182,000, site grading at an increase of $58,000, and other overages.
The overages added to the total estimated costs will bring the total cost of the Blandville Water Project to $2,340,000.
Doddridge County Public Service District
PO Box 147
West Union, WV 26456
March 8, 2021
Mr. Kai Waechter, Civil Engineer
U.S. Department of Commerce
Economic Development Administration
Robert N.C. Nix Federal Building
900 Market Street, Room 602
Philadelphia, PA 19107
RE: #01-79-14861—Doddridge County PSD Blandville-West Union Waterline Extension Project
Dear Mr. Waechter,
The Doddridge County PSD is respectfully asking for additional financial assistance from the US EDA on the above-mentioned project. The bid overrun is approximately $416,000. The PSD is seeking, as per the original match percentage of 50/50, $208,000 with the PSD providing the remaining match.
As per your request, in response to the bid overrun that the Doddridge County PSD experienced from the bid opening held on February 11, 2021, I offer the following justification for our request for additional US Economic Development Administration funding to help supplement the cost of construction from the lowest qualified bidder.
First, there were no deductive alternates to apply in order to reduce the contract amount. Secondly, it is not economically feasible to rebid this project as the PSD’s engineer does not expect bids would come in less than the current bids received. There would also be additional costs associated for engineering services in order to prepare for the bidding process again.
The estimate for the Doddridge County PSD Blandville-West Union Waterline Extension was prepared in late 2018. That estimate, which was the basis for the funding opportunity request, is attached. The major differences in comparing the cost estimate to the bid results, also attached, are in the tank and booster station estimates. The tank originally estimated was smaller and at an anticipated different location. The cost of the tank itself in the bid was not significantly different than the estimate, however the site grading was $58,000, which is substantially higher.
The telemetry, which was bid at $55,000, was much higher than anticipated and was primarily due to the PSD currently not having existing telemetry. The system had to be configured from that basis with software and hardware. An explanation has been requested on the water booster station cost that was originally estimated at $100,000 but was bid at $282,000. This is a relatively small booster station with small pumps. The engineer stated that he has not seen prices even on larger stations go much higher than $130,000.
Once the final design was complete, there was an increase in quantity of some items. The overall line footage increased by 2,000 feet with most of that being the result of having to run a dual line to the booster station since the initial station location adjacent to the end of the existing waterline could not be secured. There was also addition footage on directional bores due to not only having to cross multiple streams but needing to avoid other man-made features.
Possibly the larger factor for the overrun is the current bidding climate. The continued pandemic has increased prices due to certain materials and items not being readily available and more expensive. In addition, the multiple hurricanes on the Gulf Coast this past fall have driven up pipe and other material prices.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact our project administrator, Sheena Hunt, at [email protected] or by calling her at 304-266-5693, ext. 114 or the PSD’s engineer, Eric Coberly, at [email protected] or by calling him at 304-776-7473, ext. 262.