The Single TWW Bid is In!

As discussed at the beginning of the month, the City of Trenton issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for “The Provision of the Operation and Administration Services for the Trenton Water System.” The existence of this RFP was tipped to me by long-time reader and retired water engineer William Pyle.

I thank Mr. Pyle again for letting me know that, as scheduled, received proposals were opened this week, on Tuesday. There was one single respondent.

We have an answer to at least one question posed on May 3, that of wondering how a new vendor would be working alongside the two other engineering firms, Wade Trim and Banc3 Engineering, under emergency contract to the City since the beginning of the year to calm the very troubled waters of the city-owned Trenton Water Works (TWW), providing clean water to a quarter-million customers in the City and throughout Mercer County.

It turns out that the only firm to submit a proposal was… Wade Trim Engineering! A summary of the proposal can be found at the City’s website, at the provided link. Here’s a snapshot of the front page.

wadetrim 5-22-18This graphic is pretty small. In case you can’t make out the numbers, this proposal carries a 3-year price tag of $14,380,449. If additional one-year options are picked up, the total cost to the City will be $24,453,154 for five years.

That’s a lot of money.

Under this contract, Wade Trim would hire new personnel or assign current employees to fill 20 positions throughout the Water Works.

wadetrim 2 5-22-18

There’s not a whole lot more that can be said about this proposal at this point, other than to repeat what I wrote on May 9, when this RFP first came to light:

All of this activity – the 2 current contractors, the proposed new one, new initiatives such as this “Lead Service Line Replacement Program” – seem to be all parts of a grand new plan for the Trenton Water Works.

Does this current, outgoing Administration have any intention of letting the public – the residents and ratepayers of the City of Trenton as well as the tens of thousands of customers in the rest of the County – in on what exactly this plan is?

All of us, as well as those who are seeking to be the city’s next Mayor and Councilmembers, would appreciate – and frankly deserve, after the last several chaotic years – to know what the plan is before it is set in stone.

For the next 2 1/2  weeks, in the lead-up to Trenton’s runoff election, whenever you run into a candidate for Mayor or Council, incumbent or challenger, be sure to ask them what the heck is going on at the Trenton Water Works. There’s an awful lot of activity and money in the works right now, with several long-term contractual commitments being pursued.

It would be nice for citizens and customers to know what it all means!

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