Council OKs firm for treatment plant project

Warren City Council approved an agreement with Hill Engineering to provide services through the construction phase of the city’s upcoming sewage treatment system upgrade at its meeting Monday evening.

The executive engineering agreement contracts Hill to act as administrator on the project overseeing subcontractors, administrative contracts, additional engineering work and inspections.

Hill is already familiar with the project, having been the firm employed in the planning and design stage of the upgrade.

The project consists of new, higher capacity treatment facilities, upgraded pump stations, new headworks and a sludge dewatering system.

It is expected Hill will manage five subcontracts, two of which have already gone to bid.

Advertisements for a contract for construction of the new sewage treatment plant and a separate contract for electrical work at the plant were posted in June. Bids for the contracts are slated to be opened Aug. 21.

Three other contracts, one for construction and one for electrical work pertaining to upgrades of the city’s pump stations, and another for drilling of force mains are expected to be advertised for bid this month with a bid opening date sometime in September.

Council also passed an amendment to an ordinance legally binding the city into its loan agreement with the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) to pay for the system upgrade. PENNVEST required the phrase, “non-electoral debt,” be added to the wording of the ordinance to denote that the debt was not approved by general referendum.

The city expects to close its loan for the project with PENNVEST in October.

On Jan. 22, the city was awarded a $4,508,277 grant through PENNVEST. The grant is accompanied by a low-interest loan of $19,491,723 provided at a one percent interest rate over 30 years. Funding also includes a local contribution of approximately $525,000. Total project costs are estimated to be approximately $24.5 million.

Project work is tentatively scheduled to begin in November and last for two to three years.