ELKHART — City officials now have a better idea of how much it will cost to make significant upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant.
On Tuesday, May 20, the city board of public works opened two bids for renovations of the treatment plant, which officials had estimated could cost upward of $11 million.
The plant is on South Nappanee Street.
The bids received Tuesday were for $10.2 million from KoKosing, Westerville, Ohio, and for $11.4 million from Grand River Construction, Hudsonville, Mich.
The board is expected to choose the winning bid during a special meeting set for 10 a.m. May 27.
Work on the treatment plant and construction of a huge storage tank downtown are both slated to begin this summer.
Earlier this month, the board received four bids for the underground tank project. The low bid was $7.09 million. The others were $8.9 million or above. City officials roughly estimated the project could cost around $12 million.
Officials were eager to launch both programs this year because of the low cost of financing opportunities as well as a belief that costs for the project may well be lower right now because companies are hungry for work.
Both projects are part of the long-term sewer improvements mandated by the federal government and estimated to cost around $155 million.
In other matters, the board accepted a bid from Fuerbringer Landscaping & Design, South Bend, to purchase an unspecified number of trees at $375 per tree for upcoming public works projects.
The board also agreed to provide a credit for excessive water use to a company for a period of time during the past winter’s freeze warning.
The city agreed to provide credits to customers who let their faucets drip to prevent frozen water lines.
Jason Industries, 1500 Lusher Ave., will be given a credit consistent with what other water customers received. The company’s water bill jumped ten times the average, but representatives did not attend two board meetings in which they could have defended their request for a full credit.
In many cases, the monthly bills of customers who let water run during the freeze emergency were twice as high as normal.
The board also accepted a bid from Harold Zeigler Ford, of Elkhart, to buy three service vans and two pickup trucks for the public works department for a total of $237,857.
The city will also seek bids for eight patrol vehicles and five detective cars.