FORESTVILLE - The village of Forestville has a lot to celebrate after a special meeting Wednesday morning.
"It's a great day," village board member Carol Woodward said after the meeting. "It's water day."
Village residents have lodged numerous complaints about their water system and have been forced to boil water and filter particulate matter from their tap water for a very long time. After many delays and setbacks, the water infrastructure rebuilding project appears to have momentum.
Eric Weiss of Clark, Patterson and Lee engineering was present to share the results of water infrastructure bids opened on Oct. 2. "We had five bidders, which is a pretty good turnout," he explained.
Weiss told the residents in attendance his firm has been working with health departments at the state and local level to ensure adherence to codes. He said the project includes the installation of well pumps, buildings surrounding the pumps and security measures such as fencing and lighting. He explained water will be disinfected with a chlorination system, which will also be housed in a secure building along with a flow meter, and iron sequestration will be performed on the water with installed equipment as needed.
A time frame to implement the project in stages, according to Weiss, so "residents won't be under a boil order" in the case of a water main break as has been the case in the past is in place.
Clark, Patterson and Lee estimated the project to cost about $946,400.
The low bid from H & K Construction of Leon was $857,000, while the high bid was nearly $1.2 million.
Weiss told the board and residents they are comfortable with the low bidder after discussing the bid with the firm. "They need the work," Weiss relayed as the reason for the low bid, but added their reference checks were "positive," and included work of a similar scope. Some of the projects Weiss cited as H & K's work included water infrastructure projects at Midway State Park and Cherry Creek well houses.
Resident Mike Valvo asked the board if it had applied for any grants for the project. Mayor Charles Brewster explained grants had already been secured. "We're using interest-free loans and grants. ... The money is already in there," for the project, Brewster said.
Prompted by residents' questions, Weiss also explained the pumping system would have sophisticated controls and a natural gas generator backup system in the case of power failure. Two pumps will be radio controlled. When the tank reaches a low or high mark, a command will be issued via radio signal to turn on or shut off operations. "Controls at the well building will tell the pumps to kick on or off, and will switch pumps for equal use. We don't want one pump with 10,000 hours on it and another with 10," he explained.
A resolution to accept the low bid from H & K was passed unanimously by the board at the special meeting.
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