Lakewood Ranch firm to start work in September, with goal to move sewage treatment to the mainland by the end of 2017
The Sarasota County Commission this week set in motion the final phase of a project that will lead to the decommissioning of the Siesta Key Wastewater Treatment Plant in late 2017 or early 2018.
Formally, the board voted on Aug. 23 to award a $5,145,718.50 contract to Cardinal Contractors of Lakewood Ranch, one of three firms that bid on Phase III of the project, according to a document provided to the County Commission.
Scott Schroyer, director of public utilities for the county, explained to the board that the county acquired the wastewater treatment facility in 2006 from the Siesta Key Utility Authority. About 1.3 million gallons of wastewater are processed there each day, he added.
Because it is operating under a consent order with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Schroyer said, it must be decommissioned by June 18, 2018. However, staff hopes to complete that process by Dec. 31, 2017. To achieve that goal, he continued, staff has worked on a multi-year, three-phase project that includes creating a new master pump station on the site of the plant, as well as construction of a 20-inch force main and water main under the Intracoastal Waterway from Constitution Boulevard in Sarasota, across Phillippi Estate Park, to Midnight Pass Road and then through the Siesta Isles neighborhood to the plant. The Phase III work is set to start in September.
Plans call for the demolition of the outdated structures at the wastewater facility no later than one year after completion of the final phase of the project, he noted.
The overall project has included expansion of the county’s Bee Ridge and Central County water reclamation facilities, so they can handle the treatment of wastewater from Siesta Key.
Following Schroyer’s comments, Lori Carroll, environmental/utilities operations manager in the county’s Capital Projects Division, showed the board a map with the area of the Phase III work highlighted.
Chair Al Maio told Carroll that many people have asked him whether the “footprint” of the master pump station will be smaller than that of the existing plant. She pointed to the appropriate section of the map, indicating that that would be the case. The goal, she added, is to start demolition of the old structures within six months of completion of the project.
“The old facility’s very dated,” Maio pointed out. Homeowners leaving near it dealt with significant odor issues in the past, he continued, but county staff has worked since spring to ameliorate that situation.
The odors were the focal point of a Siesta Key Association meeting in April. At that time, David A. Cash, manager of the county’s Water/Wastewater Division, promised attendees that he would work with a contractor to keep them from having to continue to contend with the foul smells.
Since then, Maio told Carroll, the commissioners have received copies of regular reports from staff to the residents, keeping them apprised of county efforts that will lead to the decommissioning of the plant.
The staff memo provided to the board in advance of the Aug. 23 meeting notes that the status of the project is updated monthly on the Projects in My Neighborhood webpage on the county’s website.
County staff members “were very pleased” with the three bids for Phase III, Carroll said. “They were very close to our engineer’s opinion of probable construction cost.”
Along with Cardinal Contractors, firms in Palmetto and Naples submitted bids. The highest was just under $6 million.
On a motion by Commissioner Carolyn Mason, seconded by Commissioner Charles Hines, the board awarded the contract to Cardinal.