Clayton will start anew on sewage-treatment plant | The Johnstonian News
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Clayton will start anew on sewage-treatment plant

Posted on June 22, 2022

Updated on June 25, 2022

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sbolejack@johnstoniannews.com | 919-424-1776

Cappola

Cappola

CLAYTON — For its new sewage-treatment plant, Clayton had opted to work with a single builder rather than put the project out to bid.

But then that builder came back earlier this spring with a price Clayton could not afford.

“Unfortunately, the offering that came in at the end of April was significantly more than what had been indicated back in December,” interim Town Manager Rich Cappola said earlier this month. “It was $50 million more than anticipated, which brought our total program cost to approximately $260 million.”

That won’t do, Cappola said. “We have communicated to the design-build team that we were rejecting that offer and have directed them to move forward with finalizing the design so that it can be put out to bid this summer,” he told the council.

“We are projecting to have bids in hand from third-party general contractors somewhere in the August time frame,” Cappola added.

Clayton’s sewage-treatment plant is actually three projects — the treatment plant itself, which the town calls a water-reclamation facility, plus two pump stations, one at the current treatment plant and one near Grifols.

The problem has been the rising cost of the treatment plant, the largest of three projects by far.

“We have seen the cost of the water-reclamation facility itself exponentially increase,” Cappola said.

Early on, in October of 2020, the projected cost of the three projects was roughly $105 million, the interim manager said. By last June, some eight months later, the cost had grown to $175 million. Then came the December and April projections of $210 million and $260 million, respectively.

Since that October, Cappola said, building costs have soared, fueled in part by an influx of federal dollars for infrastructure. The price of steel alone has doubled, he noted.

“A lot of the things that could have gone wrong did go wrong, unfortunately, over the past year and a half,” Cappol said. “We have done everything we could to adjust.”

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