When it came time to choose a bidder for the pipe expansion portion of the project, Lake Barkley Water Board Member Stan Brinner noted that the lowest bidder, Cumberland Pipes of Russell Springs, doesn’t have experience with 16-inch ductile iron pipes, which will be used in the project.
Brinner and other board members also noted that Cumberland Pipes hasn’t received good reviews from everyone they’ve worked with, and the board discussed the pros and cons of awarding the contract to them over awarding the contract to Twin States of Mount Hermon, the second-lowest bidder on the project.
Goins said the bidder was picked based on its references, stating that Twin States was given great reviews across the board. He added that giving the contract to a firm that doesn’t have the experience could have had adverse consequences to the county.
“If this job isn’t done right, it could shut the county down,” said Goins.
There were 15 firms that placed bids on the water line project with bids that ranged from Cumberland Pipes’s bid of $1,311,390 to a bid of $2,579,911 by Lakeshore Engineering of Cadiz. Twin State’s bid was for $1,311,941.
By contrast, there were just four bids on the water treatment plant expansion project, with bids ranging from the Smith Contractors bid of $5,685,750 to a bid for $6,215,825 by Hall Contracting of Louisville.
Of the bids for the plant expansion project that were collected by GRW Engineers, the firm responsible for the overall project, the board chose Smith Contractors of Lawrenceburg, with little discussion at the first meeting last Monday afternoon.
Before recessing for the day, the board asked Louis Robbins of GRW to look up more information on both bidders. Goins said the board didn’t want to give the contract to a contractor that wouldn’t do it right, but they also didn’t want to look like they were giving the contract to a buddy.
When the board reconvened last Tuesday afternoon, representatives from Cumberland Pipes came and answered the board’s questions, and after they excused themselves, the board again discussed the topic at length before awarding the bid to Twin States.
The opening for the bids was run by GRW on May 25 at the water district’s central office. Goins said that with representatives of the various firms, there was only standing room.
In other business, Barbara Gillum of Rural Development said the district will receive an additional $400,000 loan for the project. To pay back the loan required for the project, there will be a rate increase from $17.74 to $19.88 per month for the first 2,000 gallons used for the water district’s 5,100 customers, Goins said.
The increased rate was going to be $19.38 per month for the first 2,000 gallons. The 3-percent school tax is included in these numbers, said Goins.