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Heath awards water tower construction agreement, expects savings of $695,750

HEATH – The Heath City Council authorized the execution of a $2.5 million construction agreement with Chicago Bridge & Iron Company for the City’s new northern elevated water storage tank at its April 5 meeting, which the City anticipates will result in a savings of $695,750 from the original project budget.

According to Heath Assistant City Manager Kim Dobbs, it normally takes 2-3 weeks to prepare and sign the contract documents. Construction is anticipated to begin in May, with an estimated completion date in the fall of 2012.

The actual winning bid was $2,564,000, just $27,000 less than the second lowest estimate.

The bid was awarded and decision made to move forward despite a pending lawsuit by The Fulton School in Heath to prevent the building of the tower on property adjacent to the private school’s athletic fields.

School officials and parents have stated publicly and in their lawsuit that they believe the construction and placement of the tower will endanger students.

Fulton School Head Matt Burgy said he can’t give an official comment yet because of the pending litigation but will talk to his attorney and issue a statement in the coming days.

Dobbs said the City selected this site years ago and, after numerous attempts to work something out with the private school, the City now intends to proceed.

“Fulton appealed the Special Commissioners’ award for the value of a permanent subsurface easement and temporary construction/safety easements. The City paid the award to the registry of the Court so we can proceed while the appeal is pending resolution,” she explained.

The 1.5 million gallon elevated water tank and waterline improvements were originally estimated to cost $3.9 million, she said. However, the project was re-evaluated in October, 2010.

“Savings resulted from improvements to the original site design, reconsideration of optional design features and revision to the scope of the project,” said Dobbs.

“With respect to scope, a new 8-inch waterline along Hillview Dr. was segregated from the original project to be bid and constructed separately.”

Heath City Manager Ed Thatcher explained,“By separating the Hillview waterline construction from the water tower construction, we were able to begin the Hillview project at an earlier date. The new waterline should be completed within the next few weeks, before the water tower construction begins.”

According to Dobbs, the second water tower is necessary to meet the daily household demands made upon the water supply by Heath’s growing population. Increasing the City’s water storage capacity makes the water system more efficient and provides critical resources when DPS officers are fighting fires to save lives and properties, she stated.

Three qualified companies submitted competitive bids on the project, with the bids ranging within $36,000 of each other.

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