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By Joe Naiman
Village News Reporter 

FPUD approves 10% change order authorization for Overland Trail Lift Station


Last updated 8/6/2020 at 3:50pm

The Fallbrook Public Utility District board approved two change orders to the Overland Trail Lift Station rehabilitation project while authorizing Jack Bebee, general manager of FPUD, to approve additional change orders administratively if the cumulative amount does not exceed 10% of the original contract.

A 4-1 FPUD board vote Monday, July 27, with Charley Wolk opposed, authorized change orders of $13,182.48 and $40,845.87 which were necessary due to unforeseen field conditions. The presence of such conditions led the board to authorize Bebee to approve additional change orders without board approval for up to 10% of the original $2,490,150 contract amount. The two change orders approved July 27 will count toward that 10% threshold.

The existing Anthony’s Corner Lift Station will be demolished and the existing Overland Trail Lift Station will be rehabilitated. The capacity for the Overland Trail Lift Station will be increased to handle the flows currently handled at the Anthony’s Corner Lift Station. Those two lift stations were built in the 1960s.

The rehabilitation of the Overland Trail Lift Station will include replacing the pumps, electrical and controls equipment and backup generator. The existing wet well will be expanded and modifications will be made to the existing controls building. The expansion of the Overland Trail Lift Station will eliminate the need for work other than demolition on the Anthony’s Corner Lift Station.

“We’re going to be expanding our wet wells,” Aaron Cook, senior engineer with FPUD, said.

Pacific Hydrotech, which is based in Perris, had the low bid on the Overland Trail Lift Station work. A 4-0 FPUD board vote Dec. 9, with Don McDougal absent, awarded the $2,490,150 contract. FPUD’s total budget over a two-year period for the project is $3,000,000, which includes administration and construction management costs.

The lift stations had been modified and repurposed multiple times since being constructed, which added to the unforeseen field conditions. FPUD’s general manager has automatic authority to approve expenditures under $45,000 without board approval and Bebee approved a change order for $13,182.48, May 18. Subsequent work led to the need to approve an additional $40,845.87.

“We had gone through this change order in great detail,” Dave Baxter, FPUD board member who chairs the district’s Engineering and Operations Committee, said.

The work is currently approximately 35% complete, and the remaining work may discover more field conditions requiring additional work.

“There’s a potential for unforeseen things,” Cook said.

“We expect maybe some further changes,” Bebee said.

FPUD’s administrative code allows the general manager to request approval authority from the board to issue contract amendments for up to 10% of the total contract value for specific projects even if those changes exceed the $45,000 threshold which requires board approval. The Dec. 9 approval of the Pacific Hydrotech contract did not include that authority.

Wolk expressed concern about the additional expenses which could be approved without board oversight.

“I have a problem with the 10%,” he said. “That’s $250,000, and I don’t think that’s the way to do it.”

Bebee said that Pacific Hydrotech couldn’t automatically increase the contract amount.

“They’ve still got to get through Aaron and get through me,” he said.

Bebee proposed that future contracts in which challenges are expected include authorization for the general manager to approve change orders totaling up to 10% of the contract amount.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected]


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