Water tank $294,000 over budget
by Alan Reed
Feb 13, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bids are in for Barkley Lake Water’s proposed Pete Light water tank, and commissioners found the lowest bid cost to overrun their budget by $294,000 for the 1.5 million gallon project.

Engineering Consultant Ricky Oakley said that the lowest bid came from CB&I Company for a 1.5 million gallon composite tank for $2,219,000. He added that he re-wrote the bid to include composite tanks after learning that the concrete-and-steel construction could potentially cost less than a legged tank.

Oakley said that he also bid the project out as a 1 million gallon alternative. The lowest bid for the alternative came from Caldwell tanks, costing $1,553,000, potentially saving the district $372,000.

“For the million-and-a-half, we don’t have the money for now,” said Oakley. “Kentucky Rural Water said that they can finance the extra money so it would not slow us down.”

Commissioner Stanley Brimmer asked, “Before we look further, I’d like to know why the budget was so far off. We had a contingency for the project. If the rest of the project is so far over, we can’t stand it,” he added referring to proposed improvements to the district’s treatment plant and several line replacements.

Oakley said, “There is no good answer. A year-and-a-half ago, I was asked what a tank would cost. I thought my estimate was good enough, but it is not.” He added that the budget could be adjusted to compensate for the low estimates by reducing the scale of some projects. “I’m not comfortable to do it, but we may have to go with what Barkley Lake needs, not what Barkley Lake wants.”

District Superintendent Terry Goins said that a representative of Morgan Keegan & Company finance had contacted him. The representative said that her company would be willing to refinance a note held by the district from 1998, possibly saving a minimum of $15,000, up to $20,000 annually due to lower interest rates. “Over 20 years that is about $300,000 and that puts us back in business for the Pete Light Tank.”

Commissioner Scott Bridges said, “The Pete Light tank is the heart of the system. If it is big enough, it can fill any other tank. That’s a reason to hold onto the 1.5 million gallon tank.”

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