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Low bidder backs out in Quincy

March 18, 2002|BY RICHARD F. BELISLE

The apparent low bidder for the proposed Quincy public sewer project has backed out, putting the next lowest bidder in the running in a project that already was $1.6 million over budget.

D&M Contracting Inc. of New Alexandria, Pa., submitted a bid of $6.4 million to install 21 miles of sewer pipe for what is proposed as the first public sewer system in the Quincy area.

The next lowest bidder was HRI Inc. of State College, Pa., with a bid of nearly $7 million.

The new system would serve about 900 residential and commercial users.

The state has been after the township for nine years to put in sewers to protect ground water and wells from hundreds of suspected failing private septic systems in the Quincy area.

A combination of low-interest federal and state loans and grants totaling $8.9 million has been approved for the project, which includes a treatment plant. About $6.8 million was set aside for construction of the 21 miles of sewer lines.

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The apparent low bid of $2.08 million to build the sewer plant, submitted by Howard Robson Inc. of Landisburg, Pa., still holds, said George Crouch, chairman of the Quincy Sewer Board.

Under current funding levels, user fees would be capped at $40 a month. It would cost property owners an estimated $1,000 to hook up to the system, Crouch said.

The cap may have to be raised to cover the new higher costs, he said.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency putting up the federal government's share of the cost, has asked the local authority and its engineers to go over all the bids carefully to look for savings, Crouch said.

The plans will also be gone over to see if any savings can be found by using less expensive materials and eliminating sections of the proposed system, he said.

"We think we'll be able to get it done," Crouch said. "We're not discouraged yet, but we're not overjoyed either. We're not giving up. We've worked too long and too hard on this."

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