Town Receives Stormwater Bids

BERLIN – Three stormwater flooding reduction projects suggested by the Army Corps of Engineers report could cost the town of Berlin up to $90,000 for the preliminary work.

The Berlin Town Council heard a pitch to provide engineering and design services by Davis, Bowen and Friedel Inc., at their Monday night meeting, but chose to push a decision back two weeks to the next meeting in order to have time to think about the proposal.

The Town Council is considering only the phase I work, to evaluate the extensive Army Corps stormwater report and make engineering recommendations on three priority areas (1, 2, and 5). That work would cost no more than $9,500.

“It’s a ‘not to exceed’ number,” said DBF Senior Engineer Bill Remington. “If we can do it for less we certainly will.”

The three worst areas in town, according to the Army Corps report, said Infrastructure Committee chair Fred Pierdon, are areas one and five that lie along Bottle Branch, from Gull Creek to Henry’s Green, and area two at Nelson Ave.

The firm’s recommendations would be based on specific conditions observed at the sites, include value engineering for cost effective projects, and create an easy to implement, practical approach, according to the DBF proposal letter.

The work of phase I includes site visits, meetings with the Infrastructure Committee, a draft report for the committee and then a final report for the Berlin Town Council. Surveying and other mapping functions should not be necessary in phase I, nor will researching or obtaining rights of way or easements, or determination of critical areas or wetlands, DBF’s proposal said.

The Town Council decided to put off a decision on engaging DBF for the Phase II design services, that would cost between $66,500 and $80,000, contingent on whether all three projects were done at one time, or were done separately.

The numbers quoted by DBF do not cover any construction costs, just preliminary analysis and engineering work.

“That’s the proverbial drop in the bucket,” said Council member Paula Lynch.

The proposal was not available to the Council until the meeting. Council member Ellen Lang said she does not like getting things at the last minute and making a decision with no time to consider.

The town needs time to find out what the community is willing to spend on flooding improvements, said interim Mayor Gee Williams.