Earth Tech and USFilter neck-and-neck in bid for con-ops of 5
employee Illinois facility
By JOHN REZANKA — News
Streator, Illinois councilman Siobhan Elias requested Monday
that the city allow Earth Tech, a company with expertise in the
wastewater treatment industry, to submit another bid to operate
Elias observed that while USFilter, the current operator,
submitted the low bid for the project, the difference between
the two bids was only $17,000.
In a tour of the wastewater treatment plant, Elias said
prospective bidders were told the plant was staffed with five
employees despite the fact that USFilter staffs the plant with
the equivalent of 4.5 employees.
Earth Tech based its bid on a staff of five full-time employees,
Elias noted. Subtracting the cost of one-half employee from
their bid would make them the low bidder by more than $6,600.
Since USFilter was allowed to submit an alternative bid based on
an innovative proposal from Earth Tech which included all
operational costs, Elias asked that Earth Tech be given the
opportunity to resubmit its bid based on a staff of 4.5
However, interim city manager Bruce Trego advised against that
course of action, describing it as bad business. “You could go
back and forth like that forever,” he observed.
The request for proposals did not specify the number of
employees the company needed to provide, he noted. Earth Tech
made the determination it would take five employees to run the
plant based on a company model.
“We asked them if they would go with less ... and they were
telling us they could not and did not want to do it with less
than five people,” he explained.
Public Works Director Ralph Hermann added that the USFilter
proposal, as written, calls for an initial staff of five
employees with the potential of reducing the staff to 4.5
employees at a later date, if feasible.
While Trego has started negotiating contract terms with USFilter,
in an interview after the meeting Elias said she does not intend
to drop the matter and will do everything she can to reduce the
No action was taken on her request.