Crothersville awards stormwater improvement project



Of the four bids received for the Crothersville stormwater improvement project, all were higher than the estimated cost, and only one was acceptable.

Dave O’Mara Contractor Inc. was the sole “responsible and responsive” bidder, turning in all of the required paperwork, so the North Vernon company was awarded the project.

Taking into account the base bid ($495,665) and adjustments for alternate bids ($3,300), the total is $492,365.

Brad Bender with FPBH Inc. in North Vernon said there are 10 parts required for a bid package to be acceptable. The other three companies, including the two lowest bidders, failed to provide all of the documentation.

Bender said he made it clear at a prebid meeting in mid-June what paperwork is required.

“I preached to everybody that in another county, we had to reject bids for that very reason and to make sure that they looked at that checklist and turned everything in,” Bender said. “The state statute is pretty clear that you are supposed to evaluate bids based on the responsible and responsive submission.”

Responsible is an objective measure with references and quality of work taken into consideration, while responsive is subjective and includes the checklist items, Bender said.

The three low bids were within $3,000 of each other, but Bender said he had to make a recommendation to the council to reject the lowest two bids and accept the third-lowest bid, which was from Dave O’Mara.

On Dec. 1, Crothersville learned it would receive $500,000 through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ Stormwater Improvements Program. The funding was from the second round of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Program.

The state distributes CDBG funds to rural communities in an effort to ensure health and safety and to improve the quality of life.

Crothersville has committed $129,065 for the local match. Now that the contract has been awarded, FPBH will try to work to reduce the costs through value engineering.

Bender said the start date of the project will be determined soon.

The project will involve placing three new concrete box culverts over Hominy Ditch at Bethany Road, Park Avenue and Kovener Street and the rehabilitation of Hominy Ditch from Kovener Street to the Crothersville Wastewater Treatment Plant outfall.

The culverts will be upsized, and the ditch will be cleared of debris.

This will decrease the amount of back flooding from Hominy Ditch by restoring the ditch to a free-flowing waterway. The improvements will allow the ditch to move the flowing water more efficiently to ease capacity of the surface water flowing into the ditch.

Mason Boicourt, the town’s wastewater superintendent, wrote a letter to the grant selection committee expressing the community’s need for the project.

“The goal of the project is to improve downstream facilities for drainage throughout town,” Boicourt said. “Some residents may say it only helps properties on the west side of town in the immediate project area, but they also need to realize that almost 85 percent of stormwater leaves town via Hominy Ditch, where this project will take place.”

Residents also had an opportunity to write letters, fill out an online survey and share photos of stormwater issues around their home. Trena Carter with Administrative Resources association included those with the grant application.

She received one letter from a resident with a photo showing personal impact, and the online survey had 51 respondents. She said the demonstration of need and personal impact was important in obtaining the grant.

Construction of the culverts will be first, followed by ditch rehabilitation. The project is expected to take no longer than 18 months to complete, Carter said.

“Although this project is just the beginning of many projects needed to continue working toward our long-term goal of removing stormwater from our sanitary sewer system, this project improves Hominy Ditch so we can remove water from our collection system in the future,” Boicourt said.

No posts to display