VVWD awards contract to drill Well 36

Moving forward with its considerable list of infrastructure projects, the Virgin Valley Water District board approved expenditure of up to $2.9million to drill a new well at the Wingate well site in northeast Mesquite. Winner of the bid is Hydro Resources, whose bid came in about $125,000 lower than the other candidate, Layne Christiansen. Seven companies had voiced pre-bid interest in the project, but only two returned full proposals.

The board’s decision was a 4-0 vote, with Rich Bowler abstaining due to potential conflict of interest since VVWD purchased the well site from a Bowler family member. In discussing the discrepancy in the bids, the board speculated that Hydro Resources was able to provide a more favorable price because they have employees working in the area. The company has previously won contracts to rehabilitate VVWD wells.

Water resource manager Aaron Bunker reported on progress of the rehabilitation of Well 32 by saying the pump assembly has been pulled and inspection of the casing and well casing show them to be in good shape. The rehabilitation work is expected to be completed in June. He also reported that the submersible pump ordered for Well 29 is expected to arrive by June 1. With those wells offline for rehabilitation, three district wells are currently in operation, Well 27A, 31, and 33.

District manager Kevin Brown announced the resignation of district engineer Tyler Young. Young’s departure after only 20 months with VVWD requires reassignment of engineering workload until a replacement can be hired. Brown himself will assume many of the engineering tasks, as he functioned as both manager and engineer prior to Young’s hiring.

The staff opening will impact the district’s FY2022 budget, which is in the final planning stages. District CFO Wes Smith reminded the board that acceptance of the FY2022 budget is scheduled for the next board meeting on May 18, with public hearing of the budget occurring prior to the vote.

Smith warned that huge increases in steel and other materials prices will impact the projects planned by the district in the coming year, and he will recalculate capital expenditure costs so the board will have a more accurate view of its updated financial projections. The board has previously approved a tentative budget of $25.1million in capital outlay and expenditures for the coming fiscal year.

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