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Council approves water utility agreement

March 26, 2014
By BOB PETCHER ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

A third amendment pertaining to funds needed for the continued engineering and construction of the Town of Fort Myers Beach potable water and storm water projects within the Basin Based Neighborhood from Carolina Avenue to Tropical Shores Way has been granted to pave the way for more water utility work.

The Beach Council approved a guaranteed maximum price in the amount of $2,558,388.85 to allow Mitchell & Stark Construction Company to move forward with design-build services for Phase 1 Water Distribution System improvements.

"This represents the cost for both the water and line improvements for the remaining roads in the Basin Based area as well as some additional storm water improvements that will be performed. The project is right on schedule," said Town Public Works Director Cathie Lewis. "It also takes us into the remaining portions of some of the preliminary work associated with Laguna Shores and Bay Beach Lane."

Article Photos

Two public workshops have been held for the Basin Based Neighborhood project to inform affected property holders. Construction plans were viewed at Chapel by the Sea (pictured here) last November and at Town Hall last Thursday.

Construction for Basin Based Neighborhood work is nearing completion. A FEMA grant in the amount of $646,000 will help fund storm water infrastructure. The grant is based on an April 2014 completion date.

The rough monetary breakdown for amendment #3 GMP includes the water main component at $1.579 million; storm drainage component at $777,196; Lee County Sewer Relocation at $52,660; and an undisclosed contingency at $50,000. Town records also show a non-construction cost of just over $105,842.

Costs have been budgeted for the whole rehabilitation project, which will involve replacing an existing, yet decrepit, potable water system.

"All the dollars are there. Money has been put aside for this," said interim Town Manager Don Stilwell. "I think that's a big compliment to the Town. There was real foresight in taking care of that. That's a real comfort."

Back in November, Council approved a second amendment to the design build agreement between Town and Mitchell & Stark, which was retained to do the initial waterline replacement work in areas of Laguna Shores, Bay Beach Lane and the Basin Based Neighborhood. The GMP for that work was set for $2,415,928.14.

Prior to that, Council authorized a first amendment in the GMP amount of $743,088.46 for the master contract design build agreement and initial phase work. Johnson Engineering is the Mitchell & Stark's consultant and aids in the planning and permitting. Improvements to Lee County Utilities sanitary sewer system is within the project scope.

To date, work activities are still being performed and costs are well under the GMPs.

According to Town records, Phase I preliminary services involves a complete right-of-way survey of the entire Phase I project area, engineering evaluation and final design within Basin Based project area, development of 60 percent design plans for the remaining Phase I area, implementation of the public awareness efforts and development of the project's guaranteed maximum price.

The design-build agreement is the base document that provides the structure for the project, including the agreed upon amendments. Each amendment details specific work activities that offers a specific scope of services and costs associated with all project services.

Once work is completed in the Basin Based Neighborhood, construction will move to the Laguna Shores area. Town and construction officials held a pre-construction neighborhood meeting at the Fort Myers Beach Woman's Club yesterday (March 25) so that residents could meet the project team and learn about utility work.

Due to press time restrictions, a story about the meeting will appear in the next issue.

Residents of the Laguna Shores Neighborhood can view construction plans and learn details specific at the meeting. Visit the project website at for more information or contact reFRESH waterlines public information officer at 337-1071.



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