Port Angeles City Council to consider $13 million landfill fix Tuesday

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Preparation for work on moving hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of buried landfill waste back from a failing bluff in west Port Angeles could start “almost instantly” if City Council members approve a $13.09 million construction contract Tuesday.

“We’re hoping if [City Council members] award the bid that [crews] can start mobilizing equipment almost instantly,” City Manager Dan McKeen said Saturday.

City staff will recommend approval of a $13,086,625 contract with Roseville, Calif.-based Magnus Pacific Corp. when council members meet at 6 p.m. in their chambers at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St.

The construction contractor, which has an office in Everett, was one of five companies to bid on the $19.9 million landfill project.

The project would shift about 399,090 cubic yards of waste buried in the city’s shuttered landfill back from the edge of a bluff to prevent it from falling into the Strait.

The waste would be moved to an upland portion of the landfill.

The work also would include augmenting the ends of the sea wall at the end of the bluff to reduce erosion.

McKeen expects the landfill project to be completed by the end of this summer’s construction season or in early fall.

Magnus Pacific’s bid was 18.7 percent lower than the city engineer’s estimate, according to the city.

The state Department of Ecology has pledged $3.9 million in financial assistance to the city for the landfill project.

Staff are also recommending council members give McKeen authority to issue change orders or waste disposal service contracts without City Council approval up to a total amount of $1.96 million — the 15 percent contingency amount for the project.

This would apply only to the landfill project, McKeen explained, and is meant to reduce work delays caused by having to wait for council members to approve change orders.

“To delay it would cost additional money,” McKeen said.

“The potential for change orders is relatively high for this project, especially for the waste relocation element, because of unknown subsurface conditions,” according to a city staff memo.

If there were a significant change order that drastically changed the project, McKeen said he would bring it before City Council members first even if it caused a delay.

McKeen said he would give reports on change orders he approves to the council at least every two weeks.

On April 15, City Council members approved a $1.4 million contract with Seattle-based Anchor QEA to manage construction.

The city plans to issue municipal bonds to pay for it. Those would be repaid mostly through Port Angeles Regional Transfer Station tipping fees.

The per-ton cost for residents to haul their own garbage to the transfer station jumped 19 percent from 2013 to 2014: from $142 per ton to just more than $170.

Tipping fees could rise another 11.23 percent to $189.22 per ton in 2015 to help repay the bonds, according to proposed new utility rates presented in a recent cost of service study by a consultant contracted with the city.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 04. 2014 5:32PM
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