Skyrocketing construction costs hit Lebanon sewer project

It’s going to cost Lebanon ratepayers a lot more money to build the new Glosser Road Pump Station and Booster Station project as construction costs continue to soar.

The engineer’s estimated cost of the project was listed at $9.75 million. Howeverbids from two companies came in at $12.1 million and $12.5 million.

Lebanon City Council, after discussions with city staff and its consultant Burgess & Niple, awarded the bid to Dugan & Meyers LLC because it is is a critical infrastructure project for the city and was recommended by city staff even though the bids came in high.

Darren Owens, city public works director, said trying to rebid the project could result in a higher project cost as it is also taking vendors and suppliers longer to deliver materials.

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City Manager Scott Brunka said the higher prices were the result of more grant money being available, specialty bidders have been busy, and the size of the project.

“We’re fortunate to get these two bids,” he said. “These are unprecedented times and material costs are going up.”

About 80% of the city’s sewage is pumped through the Glosser Road Pump system and is treated five miles away at the wastewater treatment plant on Mason-Morrow-Milgrove Road, Owens said.

The project includes constructing a new 10-million gallon per day pump station; a new coarse screen facility to remove items that cannot be pumped; modifying the equalization basin to increase storage volume by 1.3 million gallons; and constructing a wet weather booster station along the force main route on Columbia Road.

The city received a $4 million grant from the Ohio Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program and will use a low interest loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for the project costs.

“We landed on the most risk-adverse path we can take,” Brunka said.

Council also approved a supplemental appropriation of $2.97 million from the sewer fund for the project due to significant increases in costs and the availability of labor and materials, as well as supply chain challenges of obtaining equipment from overseas, officials said.

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Council also approved a $4 million advance from the general fund to the sewer system improvement fund to cover the costs of the project that will be reimbursed through the state grant.

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