Citing a laundry list of delays, Blaine Public Works staff are asking city council members to approve a $121,000 contract amendment for management of a wastewater project on Semiahmoo Spit.
Public works director Ravyn Whitewolf will ask the Blaine City Council to approve a $121,023 contract amendment with Bellingham-based Wilson Engineering, the construction manager on the west Blaine wastewater conveyance project. Once completed, the wastewater project will transfer all the wastewater currently being fed to the aging Semiahmoo treatment plant to the new facility at the end of Marine Drive via sewer lines under Drayton Harbor.
Wilson Engineering has been managing the third and final stage of the project since July 2011. Blaine public works has amended Wilson Engineering’s phase three contract three times since then, reflecting the additional work needed after a number of unforeseen problems. Delays have so far included issues with materials delivery, broken equipment and the discovery of significant archaeological remains at the Semiahmoo treatment plant site.
If the city council gives the city manager permission to sign this most recent contract change, the city’s phase three contract amount with Wilson Engineering will have increased by 84 percent since the contract was originally signed on July 19 last year. The original contract amount was for $196,351, while the new contract amount (if council members give the amendment a thumbs up) will be $362,514.
Blaine Public Works staff secured a multimillion dollar rural development loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the entire project, and this grant will be able to cover the contract amendment, Whitewolf told me in a phone interview. Taxpayer funds will still go toward the project, but not any more than were originally budgeted, Whitewolf explained.
“The taxpayers are paying for it, but not any more than they were already paying,” Whitewolf said.
Blaine City Council members most recently approved a $16,600 contract amendment with Wilson Engineering in February for work dealing with a broken test sewer line. Click here to read my story on that amendment.
See the $121,023 contract amendment posted below. Whitewolf will seek approval from the Blaine City Council at tonight’s meeting, which will start at 6 p.m. at Blaine city hall. Click here for the full agenda for this evening. Look for a full story on this amendment in Thursday's issue of The Northern Light.
Welcome to the Lighthouse, the official blog of The Northern Light newspaper. The Lighthouse is the place for some breaking news, previews of upcoming articles, smaller news items and some tidbits of local information that might not make it into the print edition of The Northern Light.
The Northern Light reporter Steve Guntli will be the main contributor to The Lighthouse, but other staff from The Northern Light may add items from time to time.
The Lighthouse is a work in progress and may undergo substantial changes as readers react to the content posted here. The Northern Light kindly asks for the patience of its readers as we edge ever so slightly into the world of blogging.