Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
LUCAMA — Two companies are in position to win contracts to fix Lucama’s water treatment plant and one of the town’s bad wells to improve drinking water quality for residents.
Eberhart Construction of Wake County submitted a bid of $215,000 to replace filter media in the town’s water treatment plant. Eberhart was the only bidder on Feb. 21, and after the bid was re-advertised for nine days was still the only bidder.
“Barring anything that would determine him to not be a responsive bidder, he is going to meet the criteria, and if we are in budget, we will move forward with the formal award and concurrence by the funding agency,” said Rich Moore of McDavid and Associates, engineers who have designed Lucama’s drinking water upgrades.
A.C. Schultes of Carolina, a Pender County company, submitted a bid of $77,241 to conduct rehabilitation work on Lucama’s Well No. 3. Bid opening for that job was also delayed and had to be re-advertised because only two companies had initially bid on the job. The second bidder was Pearson Pump Sales and Service of Goldsboro, which made an offer of $87,230 to complete the well rehab.
Moore said he will be recommending to the town that Eberhart Construction receive the contract for the water treatment plant rehabilitation and that A.C. Schultes of Carolina receive the contract for the rehabilitation of Well No. 3.
Moore said Lucama’s town board must adopt a resolution awarding construction for each contract to the low bidders and adopting a capital project budget ordinance.
Awards will be a tentative award pending concurrence from the N.C. Division of Water Infrastructure, the state agency providing financial assistance to Lucama for the project.
A tentative award concurrence package will be submitted to the Division of Water Infrastructure that will include contractors’ good faith efforts to meet Minority Business Enterprise participation goals and the project budget, Moore said.
The Division of Water Infrastructure will then issue a letter of concurrence with award and authorization for the town to enter into formal contracts with low bidders. At that point, formal contract documents can be executed.
Moore said a pre-construction conference will be conducted and a notice to proceed with construction will be issued before contractors can begin construction.
“You are probably looking at April or early May in terms of being able to start work,” Moore said.
‘THIS IS WHAT WE DO”
Robert Eberhart of Eberhart Construction, based in Willow Springs, said he has done similar jobs throughout North and South Carolina.
“This is in our wheelhouse. This is a niche. This is what we do,” Eberhart said. “I hope to build them a successful project that McDavid has designed and accomplish the essence of the design and help them get some cleaner drinking water.”
Moore said he is familiar with Eberhart’s work.
“I am very pleased that he submitted a bid,” Moore said. “He does good work. This is his niche in terms of rehabilitation or construction of water treatment plants and sewer treatment plants, smaller-sized. He has got a long background and experience in the business. He will do a good job. He’s a guy that prides himself in what he does and certainly wants that reputation to follow him around and he’s good to work with.”
Work to improve the drinking water is long in coming for town residents who have complained for years about discolored water loaded with particulates including iron and manganese.
Financing for this portion of the work comes from a $488,990 grant and loan from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.
A second financial package, a $2.2 million grant from the N.C. Division of Water Infrastructure, has been approved and is on track for the replacement of more than 2,728 linear feet of water distribution line to further improve drinking water quality for Lucama’s 475 water customers.