Instead, let's get ahead of the looming crises and stop sending 99% of what we make to a landfill. Logic tells us we can do much better in sourcing, producing and reusing materials.
Stabilization of the town’s old landfill at West Beach will be priced at close to $2 million.
The lowest bid for the proposed project came in at $1,929,800, but with the addition of administrative costs, and contingency funds, the town will be asking voters to approve $1,995,000 as a warrant question at the May 7 Financial Town Meeting.
According to Finance Director Amy Land, and assuming a 4 percent interest rate over 20 years, the $1.9 million bond will have an annual debt service of $145,874, and an annual cost of $70 to a taxpayer owning property assessed at $1 million.
The Town Council voted unanimously at its April 18 meeting, as part of the overall 2019 fiscal year budget package, to approve Town Manager Ed Roberge’s recommendation that the town hire Pawtucket-based RC&D, Inc., for stabilzing the town’s old landfill. RC&D, Inc. was one of eight contractors who took a pre-bid walking tour of the trash-filled site with Town Engineer Jim Geremia on March 28. According to Geremia, life expectancy of the project is about 15 to 20 years, weather permitting.
“Usually an improvement like this has a substantial lifespan,” Roberge told The Block Island Times, noting that while it’s a “sensitive tidal zone,” and an unusual event like “back-to-back hurricanes” could destroy the revetment, he said he’s “very confident it will have a lifespan in excess of 20 years.”
The town received four bid proposals for the project on April 9, which includes the winning bid from RC&D ($1,929,880), of Pawtucket, R.I., and three other contractors: Cherenzia Excavating ($2,127,500); J.H. Lynch & Sons ($2,209,700); and Northern Construction Services ($2,444,050).
“We are pleased with the results” from the bidding process, said Roberge. “RC&D is well-qualified to handle this type of project. They have done this kind of work before — having built ocean revetments.”
Geremia echoed Roberge’s sentiments, and said that RC&D came with “good references,” and are familiar with “big stone projects.” He said they “built the Narragansett breakwater,” and “are capable of performing the job.”
Per an April 16 report from Roberge to the Council, Geremia recommended that RC&D not include installation of a new drainage system at the Transfer Station at a cost of $192,500 as an alternate item, which reduced the contractor’s bid to $1,737,380. The project is budgeted with a 7 percent contingency fund of $127,290, resident inspection services at $90,550, and contract administration cost of $39,860 for a total cost of $1,995,080. (Roberge said the drainage system may be added back into the project, which would bring the project’s cost to over $2 million.)
In his report, Roberge noted that due to the lack of federal grant funding, the Town Council reconsidered the project, and directed Geremia at a meeting in early 2017 “to revise the project scope of work to be more in line with the local funding limits provided for the project.” The West Beach project was originally budgeted at $4.2 million in May of 2015, but was scaled back to $2.2 million in July of 2016.
In an April 13 letter from Geremia to Roberge, the Town Engineer wrote: “Based upon our evaluation, RC&D, Inc. has submitted the most responsive and responsible bid for this project.” The ten items included in the contractor’s proposal are: 2,500 tons of stone, 1,500 cubic yards of landfill capping material, 1,000 tons of seed, 200 cubic yards of gravel, the hauling of 100 tons of recycled metals, silt fencing, testing on screened soil, calcium chloride for dust control, a chainlink fence, and mobilization and demobilization.
On its website, RC&D, Inc. states that it was established in 2004, and has “completed over 150 civil, environmental remediation and development projects the past thirteen years.” The company “is a self-performing heavy civil and environmental contractor specializing in remediation, civil sites, and marine construction,” and “serves the private, public and federal marketplace throughout the northeast region.”
The project will involve cleaning and stabilizing the shoreline in the area where the landfill has been breached due to erosion. The contractor, in this case RC&D, will remove trash and bury it in town-owned land adjacent to the Transfer Station. The contractor will also stabilize the slope through the use of heavy stones, vegetation and soil, creating a 3-to-1 grade.
Roberge said if voters approve the funding authorization at the FTM, the funding will become available immediately.
The project has a completion date of May 22, 2019, with work activities being restricted between May 25, 2018 and Sept. 7, 2018.