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St. Clair to replace two sewage pumps at Cox Road lift station for $59,000

A screenshot of Mayor Bill Cedar and Acting City Superintendent Annette Sturdy.

By Jim Bloch

Two increasingly temperamental sewage pumps at the Cox Road lift station in St. Clair will be replaced for $58,880.

The city council waived the competitive bidding process at its regular meeting on May 2 and approved the purchase and installation of the pumps.

Instead of a standard sealed bidding process, the city asked two companies that sold sewage pumps for quotes to replace the pumps and sought quotes from two firms to install the pumps.

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Kennedy Industries of Wixom submitted the lowest quote for the two pumps at $32,385, plus $1,895 for field testing. Detroit Pump of Warren quoted $70,937 for the pumps.

Kennedy projected a delivery time of 14-16 weeks.

Boddy Construction of Port Huron submitted the low quote to install the pumps at $24,600. Midwest Power of Milford quoted $42,000 for the installation.

“Per Jeff Chambers, wastewater treatment plant superintendent, the two pumps in the lift station located on Cox Road are in need of replacement,” said City Clerk Annette Sturdy who is also acting city superintendent, in her memo to Mayor Bill Cedar and the city council. “There have been multiple alarms for malfunctions in recent months with the alarms becoming more and more frequent.”

Cox Road forms part of the western city limits between the city and St. Clair Township.

“The lift station includes service to the east and west sides of Cox Road,” said Sturdy. “The west side of Cox Road is St. Clair Township, so prior to purchase, communication on all aspects of the repair and specifically, per the current service agreement between the city and the township, cost distribution, will occur.”

The city provides water and wastewater treatment for a portion of the township. The cost of water and sewer service is based on use plus a component for the capital investment of city residents in the two plants.

“With the Kennedy bids, it’s 14-16 weeks — if we were to approve that would there be more time to get competitive bids for installation?” asked council member Kris Paul, as heard on the CTV-Channel Six recording of the meeting.

“I wouldn’t advise that,” said Sturdy. The two firms work in tandem to schedule the installation ahead of delivery. “But we can if you’d like to.”

Mayor Pro Tem Mike LaPorte said that Chambers at the sewer plant recommended accepting the Kennedy and Boddy quotes, and LaPorte made that motion.

The council added a one percent completion bond to Boddy’s quote.

“In the event of complete malfunction prior to installation of the new pumps, a temporary pump will be leased,” Sturdy said.

The money for the project will come out of the city’s sewer fund.

Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at bloch.jim@gmail.com.

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