A $2.7 million renovation at the Smithville Waste Water Treatment Plant will soon get underway.
During a special called meeting Monday night, the Smithville Aldermen voted to award a bid to the W & O Construction Company, Incorporated of Livingston as recommended by the city’s consulting engineer, the J.R. Wauford Company.
The bid of $2,794,000 was the lowest of the five bids submitted for the project which includes a renovation of the headworks and to replace the aeration system at the wastewater treatment plant.
In a letter to Mayor Jimmy Poss, Stephen C. Lee, P.E., the Vice President of J.R. Wauford & Company wrote that “This contractor has successfully performed work for our firm in the past and we recommend awarding this contract to W & O Construction, Inc.”
“Please be advised that this project involves some unit price pay items which means the final quantities will determine the final contract amount. The final contract amount may differ from the bid amount as is the case for all unit price contracts,” wrote Lee.
To help pay for the cost of the project, the City of Smithville was recently awarded a Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $525,000 from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Although the grant will fund part of the costs, the bulk of the funding to pay for it will be appropriated from the city's water and sewer fund surplus.
This project has been several years in the making.
Greg Davenport of the J.R. Wauford company addressed the mayor and aldermen on the proposed project in October, 2013. "The existing wastewater treatment plant was designed in 1991 and it went into operation in 1992. It has functioned very well. The operation of that plant is top notch. The operators have done a fantastic job of preserving your infrastructure. Even so there are things that wear out with time and equipment is one of those things. After about twenty years at a wastewater treatment facility, it just gets to a point where it's time to renew it. There are really two components to the plant. The first component is the headworks which is the primary treatment. That's the screening and grit removal. Obviously the most aggressive environment is at the front end of the wastewater treatment plant. The second component is the aeration and controls. The aeration system itself is not in a failing mode but there are more energy efficient systems out there nowadays that we feel like you ought to take a look at. This would be a more pro active project. What we're proposing is a project that would renovate the headworks, which is the primary treatment device and then install a more efficient aeration system. My preliminary calculations on the aeration system show that it could save about $30,000 to $35,000 a year in electricity by switching over. The plant is twenty one years old. It's time to take an assessment of it and see what needs to be done," said Davenport.
City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson said Monday night that a pre-construction meeting will soon be held to lay out more specifics of the project and a timeline for completion.