Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

One contractor left to bid on surface water project

By
From page A1 | June 23, 2013 |

The competition for the water project is over.

CDM Smith, once part of a three-team race for the contract to design, build and operate the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency surface water project, was unable to meet the initial concept submittal requirements set by the agency and has officially bowed out of the contest.

Officials from the contractor informed agency General Manager Dennis Diemer of their intentions in an email Wednesday.

The decision to drop out leaves one remaining contractor that can submit a proposal for the project — CH2M Hill, a Colorado-based designer, constructor and operating agency — as Veolia Water North America stepped away from the process late last year because of its own inability to put together a proposal.

More importantly, the development essentially strips away the competition between contractors during the final bidding process that agency and city officials have said would drive down the overall cost of the surface water project.

The final proposals from the contractors were due in late July.

The $113 million surface water project, which CH2M Hill now has the sole ability to submit a proposal for, will pump water from the Sacramento River, treat it and pipe it to Davis and Woodland, largely replacing each city’s ground drinking water supplies.

Davis residents approved the project in March by a 54 to 46 percent vote. Water bills in Davis as a result of the city moving forward with the project are expected to triple by 2018.

While Diemer says CDM’s departure actually will save the agency $500,000 on bidding process costs, it’s unclear what the loss of competition will mean in terms of the overall cost and quality of the project.

Diemer maintains, however, that the competition and the resultant savings were already achieved.

“We’re two and a half years into this and five weeks away from the submittal date, so I think we were very successful in having a competitive process over that … period,” Diemer said.

City Manager Steve Pinkerton echoed those comments Saturday, explaining that he believes the DBO process worked. While not all contracting teams made it to the final step of the bidding process, they were still narrowed down to the one that’s capable of carrying out the project at the cost, or lower, and quality that the agency has specified.

But Councilman Brett Lee, who sits on the water agency board, worries that the agency — and subsequently Davis and Woodland — won’t be paying the best price for the project.

“I am very concerned about this recent development,” Lee said in a statement. “The WDCWA has been very good at setting the criteria that makes sure that whatever firm is selected will be well qualified to carry out the design, construction and initial staffing of the plant. However, I believe that it is the competitive bidding process that would have provided us with an assurance that we are not over-paying for the project. Even a modest 1 percent to 2 percent difference in bids would yield savings of $2 million to $3 million dollars.”

Lee added that the City Council should request that the agency make a presentation to the council to provide objective information as to why they believe that this process should move forward.

“We need to know that we are spending our community’s money wisely,” he said.

Diemer said that it would be impossible to predict what the cost savings would be if the agency still had two teams heading into the final bid proposal step. But he also stressed that with the new request for proposals document that the water agency board approved in April, the project will still come in 20 percent less than the original engineering estimates.

The new RFP sets a price maximum guarantee of $235 million, down from $245 million.

The general manager also said that because the contract forces CH2M Hill to show that they’ve competitively bid the work that will be completed by subcontractors — which makes up 70 percent of the project — the contractor still must submit a competitively priced bid.

Joe Glicker, a CH2M Hill official, agreed Friday, explaining that with CDM out of the picture, the spotlight is on them to produce a quality proposal.

“You’ve got to come up with some decent numbers,” Glicker said. “If (the agency is) not happy the project may go away.”

Glicker added that the RFP set extremely stringent requirements for the contractors and that he wasn’t surprised other bidders dropped out of the race. He’d also never seen all bidders except one drop out.

Mayor Joe Krovoza believes, however, that the agency did not set the bar too high for the bidders when they approved the new RFP.

“We set the high bars wanting to make sure that we got the most aggressive pricing possible for the rate payers,” Krovoza said. “If CH2M Hill stays in (and submits a bid below the maximum guaranteed price) the bar wasn’t too high.”

CH2M will submit their priced proposal in late July and the water agency board is scheduled to award the contract by early fall. If the project stays on schedule, construction should begin later this year.

— Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Comments

comments

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected], (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Council to hear about drought pricing

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Downtown altercation leads to injuries

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Free beginner yoga class offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    NAMI support group meets May 10

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Dr. G featured on the radio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    End of life doesn’t mean life must end

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    With sincere gratitude

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    A wonderful day of service

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Please help Baltimore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

    He can’t give it up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
     
    Dangers from prescription pills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

    UCD softball splits with Titans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Making memories at Aggie Stadium

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Marrone opens new greenhouse

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    New firm helps students on path to college

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8