Wilmette’s computerized water plant operations will be modernized and overhauled by the end of next year, now that the Village Board has awarded Wisconsin-based Allan Integrated Control Systems Inc. a contract to complete the half-million dollar project.
The board without comment approved waiving formal bid requirements for the project, and awarded the $502,643 contract to Allan, as part of its Aug. 23 consent agenda.
The project calls for Allan to update Wilmette’s computerized water plant controls system, also known as SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition system. The system allows water plant staff to monitor and control water treatment and pumping operations. It also monitors and helps control three other water system sites across the village.
However, trustees subsequently asked water plant superintendent Nabil Quafisheh why staff wanted them to reject the company’s first bid proposal of $507,295 and then approve the modified proposal.
Doing so was technically necessary, he told Trustee Ted McKenna, because the money-saving changes company engineers came up with didn’t fit the bid specifications. Without the changes, Allan’s first base bid came in at $524,237, the highest among three bids.
Wilmette staff still wanted the company for the project, in large part because it has worked on water plant control systems for Wilmette since 1993, and because the company has successfully completed a similar upgrade in Highland Park, Quafisheh said.
Quafisheh agreed with McKenna that the project was a design-build proposal rather than a traditional bidding situation, and Village Manager Tim Frenzer said that in the future such a project could be better undertaken as a professional-services-project proposal.
Although the amount Allan eventually budgeted for its revised bid proposal is lower than its initial proposal, and lower than the two other bids received, the final cost will also include roughly $9,200 in engineering that Allan has already incurred, Quafisheh stated in his recommendation. It also will include an additional $30,000 in new server hardware, which was part of optional extra work in the bid proposal.
Despite those extras, which bring estimated total project costs to just under $542,000, the project should be more than $58,000 under the $600,000 allocated for it.
Allan should finish design work on project by the end of this year, and construction should be complete by the end of 2012.