February 6-- The City of Lyons is adopting a new approach to modernize its two wastewater treatment plants.
After bids for the project came in millions of dollars higher than available funds, city leaders looked at other alternatives and have settled on a concept called "design-build," according to city councilman Larry Griggers, "It gives each of these companies out there who are putting in sewage systems an opportunity to tell you how they would solve your problem as opposed to having to conform to how you or your engineer thinks it ought to be solved. It gives them the opportunity to put on the table systems they have built before that they know work and stand behind and it gives us a little bit better price range."
Lyons has been approved for a $14 million dollar federal loan to finance the project, however, the lowest bid came in at more than $17 million and was in the process of being re-negotiated. At Tuesday night's city council meeting, the council approved a motion by Griggers to reject the bid and proceed with "design-build," something that has been done successfully by the City of Valdosta.
"I compared the cost per gallon that Valdosta paid for their $12 million plant to the one we have. Ours was five times more and that just told me we need to do something different," Griggers said.
He also notes the new approach takes costly "change orders" out of the equation and at the same time allows the city to avoid paying back a loan over a 30-year period for a project with a 20-year life span.
"The designers tell you that for 20 years you can depend on it to deliver what we've designed it to do, but after that, maybe or maybe not. I don't think we ought to commit that much of the city's funds to a design that is only warranted for 20 years. That was the killer to me, paying for something for 30 years that's only designed to work for 20 is just a showstopper," he said.
Lyons City Manager Jason Hall says he's working to get the project up and running within 60 days. It calls for increasing the wastewater treatment capacity at the city's Northeast Treatment Plant which serves the industrial park north of town and for modernizing its Southeast Treatment Plant.
The council also okayed a bid of $77,514.60 to buy two fully equipped Ford Explorers for the Lyons Police Department from Woody Folsom Automotive.
Click http://www.lyonsga.net to read Councilman Griggers' report on the meeting,.