Water tension July 2013
All is not well concerning the Macomb Oakland Interceptor Project
How does this effect the timeline for Warren infrastructure ?
The City of Warren has a very distinct interest in the Interceptor project
People may remember the ODD bidding that occurs over water drainage projects
Crain’s Detroit Business article also focused on “issues”
A while back in history – before Jim Nash as
Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner:
Costly Sewer Repair Bid Rejected;
“Too Burdensome for Taxpayers,” Says
Public Works Commissioner Marrocco
The Oakland Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage Board rejected a $34 million bid to repair portions of the giant Oakland Macomb Interceptor because the low bid was exorbitant and would have put a heavy burden on customers of the system, said Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Anthony V. Marrocco.
The board voted 3-0 last week on a resolution submitted by Commissioner Marrocco to reject the $34 million bid of Inland Waters Pollution Control, Inc., the lower of two bids submitted. The other bid, submitted by L. D’Agostini and Sons, Inc. was for $36 million.
NTH Consultants, the engineering firm on the project, estimated the repairs should cost about $25 million.
Also voting to reject the bid were the two other drain board members, Michael Gregg, of the State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development , and John McCulloch, the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner. Gregg is chairman of the drain board. McCulloch is secretary.
Inland Waters and D’Agostini were named in a civil lawsuit filed July 18 by Commissioner Marrocco over the reported overbilling on the $50 million repair of another sewer system, the Macomb Interceptor, on 15 Mile near Hayes in Sterling Heights in 2004.
Commissioner Marrocco said the civil lawsuit — filed a day before the bids were opened — had nothing to do with rejecting the Inland Waters bid.
“The bid was 38 percent higher than the engineer’s estimate and I’m not going to burden our customers, our taxpayers with a huge over-inflated bill like that,” Commissioner Marrocco said.
“Our people in Macomb County are struggling right now and there is no justification for slapping them with an extra $9 million in costs for the repairs. I’m here to fight for our taxpayers,” Commissioner Marrocco said.
The Oakland Macomb Interceptor serves 823,000 residents and Macomb and Oakland counties.
“It is important to point out that the drain board has the right to reject any bid,” Commissioner Marrocco said. “The rejection of the bid had nothing to do with the lawsuit.”
The repair project called for grouting the exterior of interceptor to fill dangerous voids, spraying the interior with a corrosion resistant cement coating; construction of two access shafts near the I-696 Freeway and near the Detroit Northeast Pump Station south of 8 Mile, and install another pump at the Northeast station to help lower sewage levels.
Commissioner Marrocco had concerns that the multi-stage project was too unwieldy for one contract and proposed breaking down the projects into as many as three contracts.
“I believe we will get a better, lower price, if we have contractors bidding on several contracts, rather than just one,” Commissioner Marrocco said.
A committee from the Macomb County Public Works Office and the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioners office is delving into the possibility to let bids on multiple contracts. Plans are to advertise the bids starting Sept. 16, followed by the bid opening on Oct. 25 and the awarding of the bid on November 1.
Also named in the civil lawsuit by Commissioner Marrocco were former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, businessman Bobby Ferguson, and other defendants alleging overcharges of $25.7 million for the cost of the 15 Mile Road sewer repair project.
In the civil suit, Commissioner Marrocco claims that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to charge false and inflated costs for the repairs.
“Macomb County rate payers were victimized by the defendants and they are entitled to recover the excessive and exorbitant costs they were charged for the 15 Mile sewer repairs”, said Commissioner Marrocco.
An independent study commissioned by Commissioner Marrocco showed the repairs should have cost about $25 million.
Commissioner Marrocco launched the study after federal investigators announced last January that indictments had been issued because of the overcharges. Commissioner Marrocco hired an independent engineering firm to determine how much. They came up with the $25.7 million figure.