Kenai's city council moved ahead with a $3.8 million water treatment facility at their Wednesday meeting.
"I just wanted to congratulate, or thank, the administration for finally getting this done," said Councilman Joe Moore when the council unanimously approved funding for one aspect of the project.
According to a memo from Kevin Lyon, the city's capital projects manager, the treatment facility will produce water with low color and arsenic levels that meet federal standards.
In total, the council unanimously voted to pass four ordinances that funded the project, and gave unanimous consent for the resolution that awarded a contract to G & S Construction to carry out the project.
With Wednesday's green light, city administration and the contractor can now finalize the contract. City Manager Rick Koch said that could take a couple weeks.
G & S came in at $3,870,000 as the low bidder for the total bid. Peninsula Construction, Blazy Construction, Frawner Corporation and Udelhoven Oilfield System Services also bid on the project.
The first step of construction is clearing the land, which needs to happen before bird nesting season starts in mid-May, he said. The facility will be constructed throughout the summer, and the treatment equipment will be built elsewhere and shipped in.
The project will build a new intertie to connect the treatment facility with the city's water transmission system, in addition to the new treatment setup.
The facility is scheduled to come online this winter.
"That's a fairly aggressive schedule," Koch said.
The funding approved Wednesday came from multiple State of Alaska municipal matching grants received in 2009 and 2010, and a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency State and Tribal Assistance grant, which provided part of the city's match for the state money.
Aside from Moore's congratulatory remarks, and a brief out-of-order kerfuffle related to another the ordinance, the resolution passed with little discussion.
Just one member of the public testified about the water treatment facility. Longtime Kenai resident Bob Peters spoke to the council at the end of the meeting. Peters said he remembered when the council extensively discussed small expenditures.
"Tonight you had something before you where you were going to spend $3.8 million," he said, noting that there was little discussion before the council approved each component of the project.
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