City to consider lift station repair contract

During their Sept. 19 meeting, City Commissioners will consider a contract for the Lift Station No. 1 project.

Staff is recommending that commissioners approve a general contractor construction management contract to Prospect Construction, Inc. for preconstruction services for $265,215.

Typically, the city uses the design bid build method of designing the project, developing construction bidding documents, publicly advertising, then bidding the project and selecting the lowest responsible bidder.

City Commission approves contract process for lift station project

But Montana law allows for alternative project delivery methods for complex projects under certain criteria, which city staff have determined are met in this case.

The general contractor construction management process includes phases of preconstruction and construction, according to staff.

In April, commissioners voted to approve the general contractor construction management process.

City considering contract for sewer crossing, lift station project

It’s the second project for which the city is using the GCCM process.

The existing Lift Station No. 1 force main was built in 1979 and is the only river crossing for that section of the city’s sewer system.

The lift station services the original downtown, east to and including Malmstrom Air Force Base and Agri-Tech Industrial Park and south to 10th Avenue South.

The station pumps about 40 percent of the city’s sewage across the Missouri River to the wastewater treatment plant through the station’s force main.

The existing force main was built under emergency conditions in response to a failure of the 1959-installed crossing. That failure resulted in a “protracted, direct and uncontrolled discharge of untreated sewage to the Missouri River,” according to the staff report.

The project will construct a redundant force main to provide “resilience and reliability in this segment of city critical infrastructure; whereby, helping the city minimize/prevent the risk of service interruption, regulatory exposure and environmental damage associated with having a single point of failure,” according to the staff report.

City receives $8.4 million in state ARPA funds

The project will implement recommendations from a June 2021 feasibility study, including the installation of the redundant force main across the river to the wastewater treatment plant and improvements to the lift station, as well as provide connections to the pumping station and head works at the wastewater treatment plant.

Services under the contract would include: conducting geotechnical evaluations; verifying utility conflicts; floodplain analysis; permitting; producing the engineering drawings and specifications; and obtaining approval from local and state review agencies, according to the staff report.

In June 2022, commissioners approved a professional services agreement with TD&H for design phase services for the lift main project. TD&H will continue to develop engineering drawings and specifications, and obtaining approvals from local and state agencies, according to the staff report.

Prospect Construction will review the design documents and provide suggestions and recommendations to design, project coordination, sequencing and scheduling concepts, according to the staff report.

Prospect will recommend strategies for the division of proposed work into discrete packages, phasing design and early authorization to construct specific activities, according to the city. They’ll also work with city staff and the design consultant to prepare design, scope of work and, if applicable, regulatory approval schedule for each package, according to city staff.

The city received two proposals for the project and the review team recommended that the contract be awarded to Prospect Construction over Dick Anderson Construction.

Once the preconstruction phase is complete, city staff will bring a construction phase contract for commission review.

The projected budget for the project is $7.8 million.

It’s being funded with $2 million of competitive grant ARPA funds through the state, another $3.85 million through the minimum allocation grant through ARPA, and remaining $1.945 million through the city’s sanitary sewer utility funds.

The project was selected and prioritized in the city’s public works capital improvement program.

Earlier this year, the city received $8,431,368 in minimum allocation grants from the state for eligible wastewater, stormwater and drinking water infrastructure expenses through the state’s American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The state had previously budgeted the funds for municipalities and the City of Great Falls had been budgeted for $8.5 million but had to submit a list of eligible expenses for final approval, according to Tom Hazen, the city’s grant administrator.

The city decided to use the funding toward projects already in the works and as reimbursement for other project expenditures since ARPA lets the city claim expenses that were booked after March 2021.

City approves $2.88 million in community ARPA grants

Hazen said city officials not to use all of the funding toward future projects since they’d be subject to inflation and the dollar might not go as far, they decided on reimbursement since those funds would no longer be subject to the federal timelines and rules for ARPA funds, freeing them up for more projects.