Construction payments nearly complete in wastewater project

The recent payment of more than $117,000 to a general contractor for work in the nearly $15 million, multi-year wastewater plant expansion in Princeton reflects the project’s near completion.

This latest payment was approved by the city council on Dec. 27, 2012, and went to the Deerwood-based Rice Lake Construction Group.

The revised contract for Rice Lake ended up at more than $10.30 million after $7,361 worth of change orders. Change orders occur when something unforeseen comes up that justifies paying the contractor more to get the job done. Now, less than $1 million is left to be paid to Rice Lake Construction, and some of the money is being retained until certain work is completed. Weather has held up getting some of that done by now. Work remaining as of last month included: chain link fencing ($18,300), seeding and landscaping ($10,700), installation of metals ($2,750), caulking ($880), painting ($3,680), ventilation ($4,458), and electrical-related work ($19,250).

City Administrator Mark Karnowski told the council that the project is down to the punch list where the consulting engineers review the work with the contractors to determine if any work items are incomplete or need to be redone.

Karnowski said he will arrange a council tour of the wastewater plant when weather permits.

The project resulted in major modifications, including having the treated wastewater being piped to the nearby Rum River, rather than into a lagoon as had been done in the past. Another major change was the construction of concrete enclosures with reed grasses to reduce the sludge left over after wastewater treatment.

Figuring out the exact cost of the project will take some time, Karnowski said, because of the many facets of the project resulting in multiple contractors, including two engineering firms – SEH and WSB & Associates.