Upgrades to Merrimack's wastewater treatment plant will begin, but some items put on hold after hefty price-tag
Merrimack’s wastewater treatment plant will temporarily scale back some upgrades after a bid for the project was substantially higher than anticipated.
“The only option, really, is to proceed forward,” said Eileen Cabanel, town manager. “It really must be done before something disastrous happens and we are ordered to do something and clean up.”
Town officials say improvements to the town’s wastewater treatment plant will be prioritized so that as many upgrades as possible can be completed, but within budget.
In April of 2019, voters approved an initial $13.1 million bond, followed by a second bond of $9.5 million in April of 2020 to complete about $22.6 million in improvements to the facility, as well as two pump stations.
However, only one firm — Methuen Construction — offered a bid for the work and the total price tag, including non-construction costs, is $30.3 million, according to Sarita Croce, Merrimack’s deputy public works director. The design estimate value, she said, was closer to $23.8 million.