Based on follow up conversations with many contractors, we understand that the shocking bid response was primarily caused by extraordinary market conditions and contractor’s apprehensions regarding escalating material costs, labor availability and potential unknowns due to the complexity of the project.

The WPCA and BOG are committed to finding a path forward – FULLY RECOGNIZING we CAN NOT exceed authorized bonding, and WILL NOT recommend approval of additional funding from members.

Preliminary discussions and exploration of alternative sources of grants (USDA, congressionally directed funding, COVID Relief funding, and the Administration’s Infrastructure funding package) have been held.  The State of CT understands the issue that project costs could potentially be prohibitive for our residents.  Once we complete this second round of bidding, we expect to have more specific discussions regarding options with the State.  We are hopeful that there will also be flexibility from the State on things like the timing of Route 156 road repaving, however we do not have firm commitments yet.

All WPCA chairs of the Cost Sharing Agreement group (OLS, Old Colony, Miami Beach and Old Lyme), along with each association’s Presidents, Treasurers and Secretaries met in person on July 24th  to review, approve and sign project-related documents.

As reported at the OLS Annual Meeting, all parties have agreed that the best course of action is to split the “Shared Infrastructure” portion of the project into three pieces. This necessary next step has involved additional, unplanned work by Fuss & O’Neill to modify contract documents; add a Horizontal Directional Drilling Option for the Gravity Sewer Trunk along the shoreline; project document production; issuing, advertising, and administering three separate sets of contract documents; coordination with interested contractors; facilitating bid opening, and assisting CSA members in bid evaluations.  After negotiation on the cost of this work, the CSA members agreed to pay F&O $48,617 to conduct the rebid. This amount is shared under the terms of the CSA; the OLS portion is 21% or $10,210. The F&O Amendment to include these costs was signed on July 24th and can be reviewed by clicking on this link:

Shared Infrastructure Engineering Amendment #3.

The revised bid/design packages were submitted to the State for expedited review and we are still hopeful that we can begin soliciting bids as early as possible after DEEP review, with a target of mid-August.  Final approvals and permit were obtained from AMTRAK on July 30th; this removes any residual resistance by DEEP to approve bid documents.  The shared infrastructure bid documents will be posted to our website when they are approved by DEEP and available to be published.

The amended IMA with New London, adding the Town of Old Lyme (for their sewer project in Sound View), was reviewed and signed July 24, 2021.  This was the last step needed to obtain final approval from the New London City Council to permit Old Lyme to utilize the New London sewer treatment facility.  Old Lyme was engaged in lengthy and difficult negotiations with New London.  All associated legal fees and the buy-in fees to New London were borne by Old Lyme as prescribed in the CSA (Cost Sharing Agreement). The New London IMA will be posted on the website contracts section when we receive the executed version of the document.

Extensions to the IFOs (Interim Funding Obligations) for each association’s internal project and for the shared infrastructure project were reviewed and signed on July 24th.  The extensions effectively defer interest payments to the State which were coming due at the end of July for Old Colony/Miami Beaches  and September for OLS.  This also allows time needed for project advertisement, analysis of bid results in the mid-September to October timeframe, and a rigorous review of the three beaches’ ability to comply with the consent order while containing costs within the bounds of the authorized bonding capacity.

We continue to encourage all OLS members to utilize oldlymeshores.org for past and current information. Recent additions to the website include over 30 legal documents and contracts. A link to the website “Contracts” section is provided here: WPCA Contracts and Agreements.

This update is being sent out via MailChimp, a new email distribution system.  We are always open to suggestions and new ideas on how best to keep our members informed.

The next regularly scheduled WPCA Meeting will be held Thursday, August 26th at 7:30pm.