The county has received three bids from companies interested in building the proposed solid waste transfer station for household garbage.
County Mayor Mike Foster and members of the purchasing committee met Tuesday morning for a bid opening with Ronnie Reece of Professional Engineering Services from Sparta, who has been consulting local officials on the project.
The purchasing committee voted to award the contract to the company determined to have the best bid after the three proposals are given a more indepth review to make sure they meet all the bid specifications as advertised.
The county's new solid waste transfer station will be constructed on property in the Smithville Industrial Park on Highway 70 east behind Tenneco Automotive. The Smithville Industrial Board recently deeded the land to the City of Smithville, who in turn, deeded it to the county for the transfer station. The work under the contract will include the construction of a 5,400 square foot pre-engineered metal building as a solid waste transfer station including a scale house building and office building; construction of an access road with erosion control measures; stripping of 8,900 cubic yard top soil; 7,500 cubic yard site excavation; 6,000 cubic yard borrow material; 6,500 tons of mineral aggregate base stone; and 3,175 tons of hot mix.
With the help of Road Supervisor Kenny Edge and his department, the county plans to do much of its own work building an access road extending from the Industrial Park past Tenneco Automotive into the transfer station. Such a move is expected to save the county money, whichever company is awarded the bid.
Each bidder included the expense of road construction and paving in their base bids as well as deductive alternates that cuts costs. " There are some deducts in there we are trying to work on to save money. The road work won't cover all the deducts but we can do the paving later about 50% cheaper under the county's (paving) contract than what they (bidders) had listed it for," said County Mayor Foster. "Kenny (Edge) has been good to take his equipment over there and help. He's cutting the grade on the four lane going in and moving the dirt so we can gravel it. By the county doing some of the road work ourselves, we could save maybe $150,000 or $200,000. If we're able to apply for and receive a fast track grant for the paving, we might save all of that (road work cost)," Foster added.
The three bidders and their base bid amounts for the transfer station project are as follows:
Elk Mountain Construction of Cookeville (base bid of $1,308,092) with a deductive alternate of $425,077 from the base bid for road work into the proposed facility.
Johnson Builders of Doyle (base bid of $1,387,930) with a deductive alternate of $513,949 for road work.
Sain Construction of Manchester (base bid of $1,744,059) with a deductive alternate of $421,760 for road work.
According to County Mayor Foster, the bids received are in line with what he expected the costs to be for construction of a transfer station. "It's about what we figured for the cost of the transfer station. About $800,000 plus the road. Talking to other counties (who have transfer stations), that's about what their costs have been," he said.
Foster added that converting the county's solid waste operation to a transfer station is expected to be less expensive than continuing to have its own Class I landfill. "If we did the cost of building another landfill, you're probably talking about two million dollars to do it. And when you close it, that's another one million dollars. This is the cheaper route," he said.
Once the bid is awarded, the contractor has 150 days to complete the project. Foster said he is hopeful that the transfer station is operational by December.
Meanwhile, the existing Class I landfill, located off Billings Road in the eastern portion of the county, will soon be full. "According to the engineering estimates, we probably have nine months left on it (existing landfill). But we'll still put some stuff in there (existing landfill) until we fill it. Then we'll do a Class III/IV cell for construction material," Foster said.