City approves nearly $1 million bid for substation construction

Posted 4/8/21

The Powell City Council on Monday approved a bid to reconstruct the Vining Substation. 

Addison Construction of Cheyenne was awarded the contract. The company’s bid was $987,721, which …

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City approves nearly $1 million bid for substation construction

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The Powell City Council on Monday approved a bid to reconstruct the Vining Substation. 

Addison Construction of Cheyenne was awarded the contract. The company’s bid was $987,721, which was over the $900,000 engineer’s estimate. However, Addison Construction provided the lowest complete bid on the project. 

Mayor John Wetzel asked if the city had worked with the company before, and City Administrator Zack Thorington said it hasn’t. However, Thorington said the company’s bid packet stated that it’s completed 57 substations in the last five years. 

“It’s kind of their forte,” Thorington said. 

The final major bid on the substation reconstruction project will be on relay panels — a specialized piece of equipment that the engineers thought should be bid separately from the others. 

“As with all construction projects, I’m sure there’s something missed or overlooked, so something may come up in the future,” cautioned Powell Electrical Superintendent Steve Franck. 

Franck told the council the contractors will come onto the site around May 3 and immediately begin pouring concrete for the first transformer, which is due for delivery on May 21. 

“So they’ll have to hit the ground running,” Franck told the council. 

The regulators turned out to have a longer lead time than originally anticipated, but the city still expects the project to be done by the end of 2021. 

Completing the entire project will require some planned power outages, which will leave most homes and businesses in Powell without power. However, Franck said it’s too soon to know when those will be scheduled. 

In July 2019, a fire shut down the Vining Substation and left much of the town without power for several hours. The city performed some temporary repairs the following month to keep the 30-year-old substation afloat until a full reconstruction could be completed; that work required a series of three planned outages lasting a few hours in the middle of the night. 

Seven companies submitted bids for the construction on the substation, and Intermountain Electric Service Inc. of Powell had the lowest bid at $818,007. However, city officials said the company’s bid package was incomplete. 

Altitude Energy LLC out of Keenesburg, Colorado, provided a complete bid package for the project, but came in about $10,000 higher than Addison. Integrated Power Company out of North Platte, Nebraska, also had a complete bid package, but the company bid $1.3 million for the project.

Other bidders included CEI Electrical Contractors out of Colstrip, Montana, Shortline Construction, out of Glenrock, Wyoming, and Michels Corporation out of Neenah, Wisconsin — all of which bid over budget and with incomplete bid packages. 

The entire expansion and upgrade project at the substation is expected to cost $2.9 million. The State Loan and Investment Board provided the City of Powell with a $1.5 million loan for the project last June. 

The facility is located east of Ingalls Street, between Sixth and Seventh streets.

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