Cottonwood Council waves 5-percent cap on change orders for waterline project

COTTONWOOD – Tuesday, Cottonwood City Council moved to wave the 5-percent cap on administrative approval of change orders during the construction of the Mingus Avenue waterline project.

Any underground project of this complexity is likely to encounter unforeseen obstacles and complications that increase costs and project duration, stated a staff report from the City. The road construction of Mingus Avenue is the primary project and is driving the waterline replacement.


The waterline was required to be designed, approved, constructed, and tested prior to the start of the roadway project, stated the report. To comply with the required schedule, the waterline design was completed by the same engineering firm contracted for the roadway project.

The expedited schedule did not allow for the level of engineering detail and planning typical in such a project, stated the report. The Utility Department expected that there would likely be change orders required to complete the project. As the installation progresses, said the City, the contractor is encountering numerous underground utilities not shown on the approved plans and therefore not included in their costs.

The pipeline contractor was authorized to install a new 400 foot line south on 6th Street from Mingus Avenue to allow improved fire flows and connections to the existing water system. The 6th Street addition is outside the project scope and listed as change order No. 3. Change orders No. 1 and No. 2 are the result of conflicts between the waterline construction as designed and previously unknown underground utilities, stated the report.

During the construction of the Mingus Avenue waterline, the contractor Kinkaid Civil Construction has encountered numerous problems and additions outside the scope of their original $1.12 million contract. The City’s procurement policy states that change orders totaling less than 5 percent of the contract price can be approved administratively by the City Manager, according to the report.

With the project at approximately 60 percent completion, change orders to date total $49,832 (4.43 percent) of the contract price, with another change order for approximately $26,000 pending, said the City.

The requested waiver is specific to the Mingus Avenue waterline replacement project.

Council gives OK for injection well project bid

Tuesday, Cottonwood City Council moved to award a contract in the amount of $123, 233 for the City of Cottonwood Kids Park Injection Well No. 1 project to KP Ventures Well Drilling & Pump Co., LLC.

One resident spoke up and asked a series of questions, adding that there needs to be more discussion before the item was voted on.

Mayor Tim Elinski asked Cottonwood Natural Resources Manager Tom Whitmer and Utilities Administrative Manager Roger Biggs to address each of the man’s concerns.

Council then unanimously approved the contract.

Once drilled and tested, this well will serve as an injection point for A+ reclaimed water produced at the Riverfront Water Reclamation Facility, according to a City staff report.

During periods when irrigation of the park is unnecessary, the facility will enable the City to store water underground for future use.

The award of this bid will allow the City to continue its policy of sustainable water management.


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