2006-09-21 / Front Page

Sewage treatment plant $2.58 million contract awarded

By Dotti Farrington

Town Councilors, sitting as the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners Monday awarded a contract for $2.58 million to Thielsch Engineering of Cranston to rehabilitate and upgrade the town's wastewater treatment plant at Taylor Point.

The award represents a negotiated decrease from the original $2.9 million bid by Thielsch, the only bidder on the project. "It is not uncommon for competition to be thin in the current environment of lots of work" for this kind of project, Town Administrator Bruce Keiser told the council.

Keiser noted that Thielsch comes well-referenced as a national firm with top credentials and substantial international experience.

The town administrator said the $320,000 pared from the bid represented four categories:

reduction of some costs for various items by Thielsch and its subcontractors; elimination or postponement of work seen as cosmetic, such as esthetic siding improvements that may be done by the town in the future; delay of upgrades to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems that were reviewed and found adequate for now; and assignment of construction supervision to town staff, mainly by Deputy Public Works Director Michael Gray.

Keiser noted that Gray will also be the construction superintendent for the new town hall complex that will be built simultaneously. The town administrator said the treatment plant work is expected to

awarded take 15 months and be completed by the end of 2007. The town hall work is scheduled to take about 10 months and be finished in mid2007.

The contract negotiation needed to fall within the $2.6 million balance within the $7.5 million multi-project, multi-year sewer system upgrades, which includes major improvements to the pipelines and pumping stations completed in recent years.

The town is also working to resolve wetland issues with its plan to replace the water treatment plant at the Great Creek on North Main Road, Keiser noted. He said that town officials, the town's engineering consultants, the town Conservation Commission, and the state Coastal Resources Management Council are all working on the project.

Thielsch data

The Thielsch firm was founded in 1984 by the late Helmut Thielsch who converted a downsizing by ITT Grinnell, where he was a research and engineering vice president, into his own firm that grew in size and stature within the industry. Now headed by Tom Lent, the firm has more than 300 employees, $45 million in revenues, and customers worldwide.

Thielsch wrote more than 200 professional and engineering articles, plus at least one book that became an international industry standard. He lectured extensively in his field and earned several high honors for his contributions in his areas of expertise. He served on major committees for national codes and standards and was recognized for his business skills, as well as his technical knowledge and innovations.

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