Public works looks into contract work for department

Public works looks into contract work for department

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Carlinville Public Works Department is once again looking into perhaps getting into a contract with a company to help with its operation and maintenance of the water, wastewater and public works department.

At Tuesday’s Public Works Committee meeting, there was discussion about such an agreement happening down the road.

The committee discussed Request For Qualification recommendations. Public Works Director Tim Hasara said they looked at three companies for contract work, which would include getting the department uniformed and eventually a computerized department.

Two of the companies contacted did not want to get into a contract, while the third, Woodard and Curran of St. Charles, Mo., submitted qualifications for contract operations.

Should the city decide to go this route, the employees of the public works department would become employees of Woodard and Curran. Hasara said no employees would be laid off as all employees would be offered their job back. He said the value of working with such a company would be a benefit because of the safety aspect and all of the resources that it would bring to the city.

Hasara went on to say currently there are issues with wasted time, tracking issues and having no account for work orders that are processed. All of that would be cleared up with a computerized system that Woodard and Curran would provide.

This would only affect public work employees. No other city employees would be impacted by such a contract.

The proposed scope of services would include 19 different services, including facilities operations, facilities management and staffing, operations support, maintenance management and computer software.

Woodard and Curran provides contract water and wastewater operations to 43 clients across 15 states, including Monmouth, Ill. and St. Charles, Mo. The company would provide the client an annual budget for performing the specific scope of work, based upon a historical average of costs of operations. Annual fees in Monmouth include $2.9 million for services, while St. Charles, Mo. is investing $1.9 million.

Committee chair Joe Direso recommended that they invite representatives of Woodard and Curran to Carlinville for a couple of meetings at a convenient time for both parties, and city council members are encouraged to write down any questions they would like to ask at that time.

Future discussion is planned on the subject.

In other business, the committee approved a motion to send work orders from MECO for feasibility studies for the city of Litchfield water concept, to the full council for discussion.

Hasara reported that the city will incur an extra expense due to the fact that every water system in Illinois now has to test for E-coli and cryptosporidium. He sent out bids, of which one company has responded that it would cost just under $15,000 for one water source, such as Carlinville Lake 2, the current water source. A second water source test if Carlinville Lake 1 was able to be used as a backup source would also cost extra, bringing the total to around $20,000 if both lakes have to be tested.

Currently, Carlinville Lake 1 is not a usable water source. Hasara said they have to do testing every two weeks for 12 months starting Oct. 1. Hasara said he will keep the committee updated if other bids come in for this process.