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Earth Tech and USFilter compete for wastewater contract operations
in Streator, Illinois

By JOHN REZANKA

A committee reviewing operating contract proposals for Streator, Il, wastewater treatment plant has narrowed the field of candidates to two companies.

The committee reviewed base bids from three different companies including the current operator, USFilter, as well as Earth Tech and OMI.

USFilter submitted a low bid of $324,172 per year. Earth Tech submitted the second lowest bid of $390,353 per year.

OMI was eliminated from consideration after submitting a high bid of $620,120. Due to the significant difference in cost between the two other bids. Apparently, it appears the company merely submitted a general cost estimate rather than a specific response to the request for a proposal.

At this point, the city must revisit the base bids from the two finalists to make sure they are comparable in all respects. The committee needs to take a close look at items such as differences in the proposed maintenance budgets, estimates on landfill costs for sludge disposal, estimates on the cost of land application of sludge, the cost of swimming pool maintenance (an item included in the USFilter contract) and the monitoring of industrial flows.

The city will not necessarily choose the lowest bidder because the companies will provide professional services. The committee also needs to consider factors such as the quality of the staff and the efficiency of their operations, a factor which could result in lower utility costs for the city. “Maybe, by paying more, we can save money in other areas.”

Interviews will be held next week so the committee can get answers to those questions.

The committee has also developed a cost estimate for city operation of the facility – $354,740 per year.

While that number is comparable to the two low bidders the city not take over those operations.