Cumberland is changing the procurement method to upgrade its wastewater treatment lagoon. File image, Clear Facts — Wastewater Treatment & Environment video

Cumberland is changing the procurement method to upgrade its wastewater treatment lagoon. File image, Clear Facts — Wastewater Treatment & Environment video

New wastewater procurement method a better fit for Cumberland

Village still expects multi-phase project to be completed within $9.7 million budget

Cumberland’s council has changed the procurement method for its new multi-phase wastewater treatment plant.

Council passed a motion at a regular meeting on Oct. 26 to change from a design-build (DB) process to construction management (CM) for the project, known as the Liquid Waste Management Plan.

In procurement terms, through design-build, a single contractor oversees both the design and construction of a project. With the construction management model, different aspects of the project can be delivered as a series of ‘work packages.’ Taking this approach, Cumberland will hire a project manager, project engineer and construction engineer for the three main parts of the capital project through separate requests for proposals.

One concern about DB is that under current COVID-19 conditions, it could prove harder to organize the kind of collaborative bidding process needed.

During the summer, Colliers Project Leaders hosted a workshop with the Village to revisit the project delivery model and weigh the merits of a few options.

“As the pre-planning progressed it became apparent that DB might not be the best fit for the project. This is primarily because of the retrofit nature of the project – certain elements became more prescribed – but that design and implementation of some of those elements depends primarily on the site conditions,” says a staff report to council.

As far as the financial implications, the report says that while the CM method does not provide the same ‘lump sum’ control as DB does, it allows protection against excessive change order costs.

“It is not possible to explicitly quantify what the cost difference would be on this wastewater project,” the report says.

The Village still anticipates the project to be completed within the allotted $9.7 million budget.

RELATED STORY: Cumberland plays catch-up with wastewater project

The Liquid Waste Management Plan has been a long-term issue in Cumberland as the community works toward compliance in its treatment of wastewater. The process was restarted in 2016, as the Village set out to identify a ‘made in Cumberland’ solution. Electors in the community approved borrowing for the project at a referendum in 2018.

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