Bidding for the estimated $18 million sewer plant replacement project in Honesdale has been readvertised, with bids to be opened May 26.


Bidding for the estimated $18 million sewer plant replacement project in Honesdale has been readvertised, with bids to be opened May 26.
The Central Wayne Regional Authority (CWRA) was required to request bids all over again because of the method used to seek bids did not satisfy  a federal requirement to solicit “disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE}”.
The federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, under the Department of Transportation, is designed to give small business owners a fair chance at bidding on contracts, who are classified as “disadvantaged” by being under majority ownership by women or certain ethnic minority groups.
At the April 27th meeting, consulting engineer Edward Petroski, Entech Engineering, said that one DBE firm has inquired about the project. Most of the original bidders have asked for the specifications again.
The delay means ground breaking for the plant may not be until the fall rather than early summer, explained Chairman Martin Young after the meeting. He said that the DBE program guidelines were not very clear. This time, a list of DBE firms which are being solicited, was sent to the state for approval.
With anticipation of building a new, expanded treatment plant, CWRA must meanwhile keep up the old facility. Plant operator Dan Guinther expressed hesitance to spend too much on the old plant, while attending to needed repairs and maintenance. One of the two primary pumps needs to be replaced; the two pumps are working at only a third capacity.
Petroski said that this is an emergency need, and advised that a less expensive replacement unit be found to get them through to July 2010 when hopefully the new plant will be ready. Also in need of replacing are filters, and a “digester” needs to be cleaned. The latter task cost as much as $13,000 to $14,000 when Waymart Area Authority had a similar problem, said Petroski. The board approved advertising for bids to have this work performed.
The plant operator suggested that a contingency plan be formulated in the event “something breaks” while they wait for the new sewer treatment plant to be built.
Equipment at the old plant is not really salvageable, Petroski stated. They also should not expect to share parts from Waymart’s sewer plant, since it is of much less capacity. The Waymart plant is rated at 715,000 gallons a day. The new sewer treatment plant at Honesdale will be to handle as much as 2.2 million gallons  a day.
CWRA is planning to apply for state PENNVEST funding to pay for replacement of aging sewer pipeline under borough streets. The board  is also working on establishment of rules and regulations affecting sewer line customers. CWRA budgets a quarter million dollars a year for this maintenance, and expects to advance this to match any added federal Stimulus funds that might come available through PENNVEST. The engineer was authorized to begin surveying work for the lines.
 The next CWRA meeting is expected to be at the Texas Township municipal building on Old Willow Avenue, Tuesday, May 26 at 6 p.m. the CWRA office, at 100-4th St., Honesdale, may be contacted at 647-0275.