Village awards $2.6M sewer re-bid contract to J&H

By Ryan Ottney

October 26, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

NEW BOSTON — The New Boston Village Council gathered for a special meeting Friday to review and award bids for the upcoming village sewer project. This is the second time the village has bid the work, after tentatively offering — and then rescinding — an award to Fields Excavating of Kitts Hill earlier this month. After another round of bidding, the village voted to offer a tentative bid contract to J&H Reinforcing and Structural Erectors, Inc., of Portsmouth.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began sending letters to the village in 2005 asking for a long-term sewer control plan that would divide the village’s current combined sewer system into two separate lines — one sewer line and one storm water line. Chief among their concerns is the village’s combined sewer overflows (CSO), which is what occurs when too much water and sewage flow through the sewer lines. When that happens, the excess flow will bypass the two pump stations and dump into the river. The EPA is also concerned about instances of overflows happening inside people’s basements.

The agency sent a letter to the village in February stating they would impose fines for the period of 2004-09 while the village sewers were not in compliance. Village Solicitor Justin Blume said the EPA agreed to stay those fines as long as the village is making progress to resolve the issues, which the village reports they are.

The project was bid for three phases; the Base Bid (storm sewer separation work from Munn’s Run to Harrisonville Avenue), Alternative A (on Rhodes Avenue, from Harrisonville to Glenwood Avenue), and Alternative B (from Rhodes Avenue, up Glenwood Avenue). Six companies bid on the village project, but one bid — from J&H Erectors — was incomplete and rejected.

Of the remaining bids, the village decided on Sept. 17 to proceed with the Base Bid and Alternative A work only, for which Fields Excavating submitted a total bid of $2,639,903.80. Council agreed it would be better to complete sewer work beneath Rhodes Avenue as soon as possible, before the state of Ohio repaves the road in 2015. They had planned to rebid work for Alternative B at a later time.

After voting to bring a resolution forward to award the bid to Fields Excavating of Kitts Hill in the amount of $2.6 million, the village called for a special meeting to discuss an irregularity in their bid process. Council members met last month and voted to rescind their bid offer to Kitts Excavating and rebid the entire project.

The rebid closed Monday and only three companies submitted a bid during the second round. Fields Excavating rebid the work for $2,899,999, and J&H Reinforcing and Structural Erectors submitted a new bid of $2,604,755. Distel Construction of Portsmouth also submitted a bid, but Village Solicitor Justin Blume said the company used incorrect bid forms and was rejected. However, Blume also said each of the three bids had minor problems of their own.

When asked if this would require another re-bid, Blume said, “Council has elected to move forward, despite the minor irregularities so that we can not lose the grant funding.”

The village voted unanimously during their special meeting Monday to offer a tentative bid contract to J&H Reinforcing and Structural Erectors. The Daily Times attempted to contact Fields Excavating for a comment, but the business was closed Friday afternoon.

New Boston Village Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month, at 6:30 p.m. in the village council chambers of the Vern Riffe Community Center on Rhodes Avenue. The next regular meeting of New Boston Council is Nov. 5.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.