Clallam Public Utility District to take bids on an estimated $12.6 million in construction projects

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County Public Utility District commissioners voted Monday to put out to bid an estimated $12.6 million in new construction — a new $9.8 million administration building, a $1.6 million engineering/dispatch office addition and a $1.2 million substation shop building.

The bids will be advertised Aug. 5 and opened Aug. 27, said Doug Nass, general manager for the Clallam PUD.

Bids will be likely be considered at the first PUD Commission meeting in September.

Construction could begin as soon as September, with a Sept. 1, 2015 completion date, Nass said.

The new administration building, to be located at 100 Hooker Road in Carlsborg, would replace the Port Angeles main office at 2431 E. U.S. Highway 101.

When the PUD talked to the Clallam County permit office to discuss expanding the current structure, the PUD learned that the current code would make the expansion of the offices in their existing location cost about half of what a brand new building would cost, said Dennis Shaw, general superintendent for Clallam PUD.

Combined with maintenance costs or the current facility, that estimate prompted the move to build new offices.

The existing PUD administration office will likely be sold after the move is complete, Shaw said.

The shop and the engineering/dispatch office will be located at 110 Idea Place in Carlsborg.

PUD commissioners Hugh Haffner, Ted Simpson and Will Purser asked at Monday’s meeting if there was a way to increase the chances of a local contractor winning the bid, which is by law required to be awarded to the lowest qualified bidder.

Simpson suggested splitting the construction contract into three separately bid projects so that the smaller contractors and subcontractors in Clallam County could become competitive against the larger companies from Seattle.

Bundling the three projects reduces the cost of construction supervision and other bulk-pricing can keep the overall cost of the project low, staff members said.

“There is benefit to the utility but not benefit to the community,” Simpson said.

A previous bid effort on a single portion of the project failed to gain a winning local contractor.

The shop building initially went to bid about a year ago, and only one of four bids was from a local contractor, Shaw said.

A local contractor’s bid was not the lowest, and all bids were rejected because they were higher than the PUD had budgeted for the project, he said.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 28. 2014 7:17PM
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