Bids opened for landfill wetlands

STEUBENVILLE – A Groveport, Ohio, company submitted the apparent low bid for the construction of two wetlands at the former city landfill near the Jefferson County Airpark.

Environmental Management Systems proposed building the wetlands for $474,265.29.

The engineer’s cost estimate for the project was $556,735.

Three other firms also submitted bids that were opened Wednesday afternoon, including the James White Construction Co. of Weirton for $487,743, Ohio-West Virginia Excavating for $549,272.50 and King Environmental at $485,777.

City Engineer Michael Dolak said all four bids will be reviewed by his office and Bennett & Williams Environmental Consultants of Westerville.

“We will then make a recommendation to the city manager who will ask City Council to approve the appropriate bid,” said Dolak.

“The bidders must be Ohio Department of Transportation pre-qualified,” added Dolak.

According to City Manager Cathy Davison, “this is Phase One to officially close the former city landfill. Phase Two will include a permanent cap on the landfill.”

Davison said revenue from an oil and gas lease at the former landfill site signed with Hess Energy will pay for the closing of the landfill.

“The OEPA gave us a year to install two wetlands at the landfill. We will direct seepage from the landfill and mine runoff to the wetlands where iron and minerals will be removed. We hope to start creating the wetlands this spring so they will be finished by Oct. 31. But until the 88-acre landfill is permanently capped the property will not be considered closed,” explained Kerry Zwierschke of Bennett & Williams at a March City Council meeting.

“This will bring closure to 30 years of discussions with the state to close the landfill. We negotiated an agreement with the attorney general’s office that will allow us to continue closing the landfill as long as we have the money from the oil and gas lease on that property. If we don’t have the money, they won’t find us in contempt. The council made an excellent decision to sign a lease with Hess Ohio Development for the oil and gas lease. And this agreement with the state will save our residents $10 million in closing costs,” said Law Director S. Gary Repella.