Agua SUD plans project redesign after bids come in over budget

PALMVIEW — In a cost-saving move, the Agua Special Utility District will go back to the drawing board for the design of a lift station, an integral component of its sewer project planned here.

The decision came after bids for the fourth phase of Agua SUD’s Palmview Wastewater Project came in over budget.

The lowest bid, from RP Constructors Inc. came in at $7,216,417, more than $700,000 over the utility district’s budget.

The second-lowest bid came from Saenz Brothers Construction LLC with $8,193,265 while the highest bid came from Pederson Construction Co. Inc. at $10,806,211. Pederson, however, failed to submit some of the required documentation making them ineligible.

Reddy Kajuluri, who’s representing project engineers S&B Infrastructure Ltd., spoke to the Agua board of directors on Monday about their limited options. The only viable one, though, was to negotiate a lower price with the contractor based off a redesign of the lift station.

The submitted bids were for construction of a lift station with a capacity of 1.25 million gallons per day, with the possibility to expand to 2.5 mgd, Kajuluri said, explaining the redesign would remove those two versions and redesign a single 1.25 mgd lift station.

Their service area wouldn’t reach that full capacity until 2035, said interim General Manager Jose. E. “Eddie” Saenz, citing projections for S&B.

“(S&B) agreed to at least redesign the lift station and the pumps and the generator, the whole lift station, to bring it down to the 1.25 mgd versus the 2.5 that it was designed for and see where those numbers come in,” Saenz said.

Saenz added that they were awaiting word from the Texas Water Development Board, which is the primary funding source for the project, on whether to move forward with the redesign.

After the meeting, Board President Roger Hernandez said the issue wasn’t over money but simply that they didn’t want to construct a lift station larger than what was necessary.

“We’re not there yet,” Hernandez said regarding the lift station’s capacity. “We haven’t built subdivisions or grown that big in order for us to service that area. There’s no sense.”

bereniceg@themonitor.com