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After cost delays, Derry resumes transfer station project

Union Leader Correspondent

July 06. 2014 8:08PM

DERRY — After some delays due to cost overruns, plans are moving forward for a new transfer station.

The town is searching for a company to award the contract for the approximately $3 million project, said Public Works Director Michael Fowler.

“My expectation is that as we get into late August we’ll be awarding the contract to a firm and they will be beginning the project from there,” Fowler said.

Earlier this year, the project was delayed after costs increased, with estimates ranging from $4.5 million to $6 million. Increased costs for site work and other factors pushed the project over budget, Fowler said.

In January, Fowler said he would rather not move forward with the the proposal until a way could be found to reduce costs and keep it within the $3 million price tag.

“In this case, I felt it was prudent to take a step back and not irresponsibly charge into project that was at least on the surface being represented as over budget—I would never do that,” he said.

And so Fowler began looking into the costs associated with constructing an approximately 18,000-square-foot steel building. He began making a series of phone calls to state and regional contractors to get a better understanding of what similar projects cost.

He learned the town should be able to build the facility with a $3 million budget. Fowler also decided it would be better to use an approach know as design-build to construct the building. With this process, a team of contractors would design and build the facility within the designated price range.

Previously, Derry was considering using the more traditional approach of first creating a design of the building and then putting it out for bids.

The initial timetable called for completing the facility by Thanksgiving; it is now set to be completed by October 2015, he said.

Derry has outgrown the current transfer station that was built in 1980, Fowler said. Residents who bring their trash there are encountering delays, especially on Saturdays, Fowler said.

A new facility would provide more parking spaces and speed up trash disposal. The design also calls for more levels than the current facility to improve efficiency.

And with the new station, Derry could receive revenue from enhanced recycling of commodities such as plastics and aluminum, Fowler said. The facility would have multiple bunkers for the different revenue-generating commodities.

“We are building this transfer station for a 50-year service life and really wanted to look ahead,” Fowler said.

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