Fairview taking time to consider plans to rebuild main water line
By Suzanne Dean
FAIRVIEW—Mayor David Taylor was anxious to move ahead on selecting an engineering firm for a project that includes applying for emergency federal funding and ultimately rebuilding the main Fairview culinary water line.
But at a special meeting last week, the Fairview City Council said, in essence, “Not so fast.”
Ultimately, the council decided to take a week to look over proposals submitted by three engineering firms and to hold a work meeting on the matter prior to the regular council meeting tonight (Thursday).
The council decided to forego calling in the three engineering firms that submitted proposals, but to call in Justin Jackson, the city water and sewer superintendent, to get his take on the proposals.
In October, 2018, Jackson, and his assistant, Logan Ludvigson, reported on an examination of the 13,500 foot line.
The findings, including sagging pipes over a stream crossing, pipes that hadn’t been changed out since 1939 and pipes damaged by falling trees, prompted the city to issue a request-for-proposals from engineering firms.
The purpose of the special meeting last Thursday, Jan. 10, was to look at responses from the three firms.
Taylor said if the council approved one of the firms that night, the city should know by March whether it could get funding under the Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant (ECWAG) program, sponsored by USDA Rural Development.
The program is designed to help cities and towns whose culinary water supply has dropped because of the drought.
Fairview should qualify because the volume of water running from four mountain springs into its main culinary line, a line supplying 50 percent of the town’s water, has dropped 21 percent over the past three years.
Mayor Taylor felt the best proposal was the one from Jones and Demille Engineering of Richfield.
The initial version of the Jones and Demille proposal estimated the total project would cost about $1.3 million. But the maximum amount of an ECWAG grant is $1 million.
The city asked Jones and Demille if it could pare down its proposal. The firm did. It came back with a bottom line of $998,556, a shade under $1 million. The second set of numbers even included a $72,000 contingency fund.
That figure included estimated charges for grant preparation and all other engineering of $199,700.
A second firm, Horrocks Engineers of Pleasant Grove, quoted engineering costs, including grant preparation, at $352,000. It estimated total project costs, including engineering and construction, at $1.9 million.
A third firm, Franson Civil Engineering of American Fork, quoted engineering costs at $190,890, a little below the Jones and Demille estimate. But it estimated total project costs at $1.57 million.
“There’s quite a spread between them,” said Councilman Casey Anderson. “I don’t feel comfortable voting tonight.”
“This is an estimate,” Councilman Cliff Wheeler said. “The costs could change, based on the cost of materials or problems that might arise. If that happened, where would we get the money?”
Taylor said the city would have to seek a combination grant and loan from the Utah Community Impact Board. That would mean some of the money would have to be paid back.
“The sooner we get going, the sooner we know what we’re doing or not doing,” said Councilman Robert St. Jacques.
At that point, the council decided to hold the follow-up work meeting, to ask water superintendent Jackson to be there, and to try to make a determination then.