Santa Paula Times

City Manager Jaime Fontes warns about $1.5 million Water Recycling Facility change order on the way

May 19, 2010
Santa Paula City Council

The City Council received a warning from City Manager Jaime Fontes that a pricey change order of about $1.5 million dollars is expected for the new water recycling facility.

Fontes told the council at the May 17 meeting that Santa Paula Water, a partnership that resulted from the previous council’s decision to use the Design/Build/Operate/Finance (DBOF) method, is seeking about $1.5 million in change orders that are about to be submitted.

PERC secured the contract to build the $58 million facility financed by Alinda Capital Partners and the two formed Santa Paula Water.

One of the reasons stressed by several members of the council in initially awarding the contract - which was on a 3-2 vote - to PERC/Alinda was the deal was at a fixed cost that would not include change orders, other than those requested by the city.

Fontes told the council that details on the billing are still scant but preliminary numbers provided by PERC Vice President Brian Cullen included about $600,000 for city requested changes; sales tax of approximately $100,000 to $150,000 on the design/build portion and to be determined costs non-labor operations and maintenance; and soils due to a change in site/geotechnical conditions of about $800,000.

Fontes stressed to the council that the information so far is just rough estimates and formal documentation has not yet been submitted, although he expects to have most of the same for the June 7 meeting.

The plant, built as part of a compromise to settle millions of dollars in fines for past pollution violations, is completed and now running test cycles.