The city of Johnstown apparently will be able to complete the second phase of its sanitary-storm separation project in Walnut Grove and Hornerstown for about $500,000 less than anticipated.
On Wednesday, council approved a pair of resolutions authorizing City Manager Kristen Denne to finalize deals with A. Liberoni Inc. and Greenland Construction Inc. to perform the sewer work. Liberoni will be paid $2.8 million to make the upgrades in Walnut Grove.
Greenland will receive $5.1 million for the larger Hornerstown project. Money for the repairs will come from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority.
The cost is well below the original estimate of about $8.4 million for both contracts.
“That’s a good thing,” said the city’s engineer, Steve Sewalk from The EADS Group.
Johnstown was able to save some money by dividing the work.
“Two contracts does make it a little bit more competitive,” Sewalk said.
“You get a better bid. Rather than putting one contract out for $8 (million) or $9 million, we try to break it in half and get a very competitive number.”
Councilman William Gentile Jr. asked Sewalk if any local businesses pursued the contracts.
“You get a call here and you get a call there (with people asking) ‘How come we’re not able to bid?’ ” Gentile asked.
No Johnstown-headquartered company placed a bid, according to Sewalk. Liberoni is from Pittsburgh. Greenland operates out of Clearfield.
“From what I’ve been told, after you get about over like $200,000 to $300,000, the bonding requirements for the smaller contractors really change at that point,” Sewalk said.
The work in Hornerstown and Walnut Grove is part of a large-scale effort to modernize the city’s sewer system. The overall project will take a decade to complete. It will remain a major factor in the city’s budget process and politics throughout the process,
“It’s sewers, sewers and more sewers right now in Johnstown,” Denne said.
To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links: