A lot of changes are coming to Marshfield, all aimed toward improving infrastructure in the community. Perhaps the best news of all for Marshfield residents is that the city has planned carefully for the improvements, and the successful bids fall within budget projections.

It’s a little something city officials feel thankful for during this week devoted to gratitude.

"The structuring of city funds to allow balancing over $30 million of improvements to Marshfield without increasing the tax rate is our most significant achievement," Mayor Robert Williams clarified in comments to The Mail. "It is one that has taken a lot of effort by a lot of people."

Improvements include expansion of the wastewater treatment plan, expansion of the water system on the north side of the city, and, of course, work on a second Interstate 44 interchange, for which ground was broken last week.

Williams himself has been bully on infrastructure improvement throughout his time in office, and so have current city administrator John Benson and assistant city administrator/former acting administrator Sam Rost.

Scott Knight, water resources group manager for the Crawford, Murphy & Tilly infrastructure consultancy firm, gave the good news to the Marshfield Board of Aldermen at their meeting Nov. 14.

"We're in great shape with bids versus what we had budgeted — we're in really good shape," he said.

Joe Tinder of Stifel Financial explained some of the specifics. Marshfield voters authorized $10 million in revenue bonds. “The rates have stayed incredibly low, so this is a really nice project here,” he said.

With the available funds in place, the Board of Alderman approved several bids for work.

At the Nov. 21 special meeting, the Aldermen passed several ordinances authorizing contracts. These included the following:

• An ordinance authorizing a contract with L.E. Davis Construction, LLC, for water system improvements, with final completion of Jan. 8, 2021. This contract covers site work, site utilities, new well houses, a chemical feed room addition, new chemical feed equipment, new water mains, electrical equipment, stand-by power, all associated equipment with each of these components, site piping, sediment and erosion control and site restoration. The total bid amount was $1,487,450, which includes a base bid of $1,241,300, plus five bid alternates. The original estimate for the project was $1,600,000, well over the low bid amount.

• An ordinance approving four bid alternates for L.E. Davis Construction, LLC, for north side water system expansion, with work to consist of clearing and grubbing, sediment and erosion control, Interstate 44 crossing with casing pipe, new water main installation across West Brook Street, North Marshall Road, Route CC and Elm Street, including three Route CC crossings, an Elm Street crossing, and all associated vales, tees, bends, fire hydrants, plugs, restraints, pressure testing and disinfection and site restoration. Cost is $1,344,450.

• An ordinance authorizing a contract with Maguire Iron, Inc., for water system improvements, including a new 300,000 gallon elevated spheroid tank, reciting of the Blue Jay tank, new mixers installed in the Warren tank and the Blue Jay Tank, and other tank improvements to the Warren and Blue Jay Tanks. The new tank will also include a chemical feed system, a chlorine analyzer and a mixer. Final completion date is Jan. 8, 2021.

• An ordinance authorizing a contract with L&J Municipal Supply, Inc., for water meter procurement. The project cost of $727,844.73 will provide 2,835 water meters that can be read remotely. Items will be furnished within 180 days.

• An ordinance authorizing a contract with Branco Industries, Inc., for a wastewater treatment plant bypass elimination project. Improvements will include new influent screening, new influent wet weather flow pumping, new ultraviolet disinfection, site piping including a new outfall and all related and ancillary work specified in the contract. Contract price is $1,795,000, and completion date is Feb. 14, 2021.

Also at the meeting, the Aldermen approved its Priority 1 budget, which covers mandated expenses and existing commitments and maintains the city's current level of service. At the next meeting of the board, Aldermen will take up Priority 2 items — those expenses that are beyond current commitments and services. The legal requirement to pass a balanced budget for the next fiscal year was met with the Priority 1 budget.

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