City Commission to consider $11 million water treatment plant project contract

City Commissioners will consider awarding a $11 million contract to Sletten Construction Company for the water treatment plant solids mitigation project during their Jan. 17 meeting.

Staff is recommending approval of the contract, along with a separate contract for a $546,700 professional services agreement to Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. for construction phase services for the project.

The Great Falls Water Treatment Plant “treats surface water from the Missouri River via conventional flocculation, sedimentation and filtration treatment processes. Residual solids, generally referred to as sludge, are generated from the primary/secondary clarification basins and clarification offilter backwash during the water treatment process,” according to the staff report.

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Currently, sludge is handled by either immediate discharge to the wastewater treatment plant or onsite storage and thickening ponds. In the winter months, residual solids are discharged directly into the sanitary sewer collection system, according to the staff report.

In 2015-2016, the city retained AE2S to evaluate the existing WTP residuals management procedures and perform an alternative analysis that evaluated and recommended potential improvements.

The evaluation recommended an overhaul of the existing storage pond system and construction of a screw press dewatering system, a new building to house the equipment, and site improvements to provide truck access to haul extracted solids off site, according to staff.

The project has an estimated payback period of 25 to 30 years.

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In September 2021, the commission approved a professional services agreement to AE2S for design for the project.

AE2S recommended that the city’s project would be a good candidate for an alternative project delivery contract, as allowed under state law. The method allows for a more aggressive project completion schedule, early procurement of construction materials, managing project risk and negotiating project price, according to staff.

During their Jan. 4, 2022 meeting, commissioners approved a resolution to allow the use of the general contractor construction management method.

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Staff then started a competitive process of soliciting proposals from qualified firms and established a scoring process.

Sletten ranked highest and in June 2022, commissioners awarded the company a phase one preconstruction services contract.

Formal bids for the project were submitted to the city on Dec. 7 and the guaranteed maximum price for the construction phase of the project is not to exceed $11,110,162.

Substantial completion of the project is set to March 1, 2024.

The project includes “substantial improvements and efficiencies for the city’s water treatment operations,” according to staff.

The project has been selected and prioritized under the city’s public works capital improvement program.