Sunday, October 24, 2021

Council Approves Pump Station Replacement



By Noelle H. Lowery

Last week, the Marco Island City Council unanimously approved to spend $976,143 to replace its water utility’s Marco Lakes Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR) Pump Station.

Council also gave a nod to the three-pronged team to complete the project.

The decision to replace the 48-year pump station could not have come soon enough for Marco Island Utilities’ General Manager Jeff Poteet. “The pumps in this station are obsolete,” he explained to council. “The parts must be manufactured, and that causes extended down time and higher repair costs.”

Originally slated to be completed in 2011, the Marco Lakes pump station replacement was put on hold when a $400,000 grant from the South Florida Water Management District was eliminated due to budget cuts. Back then, the system itself was priced at $868,000 — before engineering costs.

This time around, SFWMD awarded the city a $300,000 grant to help with the hefty project price tag. That brings the city’s share to $676,143.

Bruce Weinstein, the utility’s senior project manager, broke the project down for council, explaining that it will be done in three sections. First is the direct purchase of the 400-horse power pumps from Carter Verplank for $391,215. Weinstein indicated the direct purchase of the equipment saves the city $23,000.

The second section of the project is construction services. This portion of the project was awarded to Okeechobee-based Enviro-Tech Systems Inc. in the amount of $518,928. This work includes a structure to house the systems, as well as the construction of concrete pads strong enough to support the 7,000-pound pumps.

Finally, the third section of the project — engineering services — was awarded to AECOM for $66,000. Although this amount gave some council members pause, they agreed to move forward with the award after receiving assurances from Weinstein and Poteet that the amount was an estimate for the services and that they would work to keep these costs down.

“A lot of this is electrical engineering,” Weinstein noted. “These are big, serious, high-powered pumps.”


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