By Karen Brainard
Ramona Municipal Water District directors have awarded Dudek Engineering the design and construction support contract for the district’s pipeline relocation project on San Vicente Road.
The pipeline, which is the sole source of water for San Diego Country Estates, was installed within a county right of way in 1973. State law allowed that with the caveat that RMWD must pay to relocate it when the county made road improvements.
The county plans to realign San Vicente Road for safety and widen it for bike lanes between Warnock Drive to 1,000 feet east of Wildcat Canyon Road and estimates it will start construction in the third quarter of 2013.
According to RMWD, the county has agreed to include the district’s pipeline relocation within its project construction contract, provided that the district, under terms acceptable to the county, submits design plans and complete funding by March 1, 2013.
The water district will save money by aligning the project with the county’s contract, said the water district’s finance manager, Richard Hannasch.
RMWD’s fiscal year 2012-13 budget allocates $500,000 of property tax revenues for the pipeline relocation. The total cost is estimated at $4 million, which could affect future water rates.
Hannasch told the board at its June 26 meeting, “If we’re looking at about $4 million, depending on what the exact cost is and what kind of financing we look at, if debt service runs around $500,000 a year, that’s significant and it absolutely could affect future water rate increases that would be required to fund that project.”
Four consulting firms were invited to submit proposals for the design and construction support and were evaluated based on certain criteria. Dudek was the lowest bidder and was ranked at the top for the project, reported district staff. RMWD General Manager David Barnum said Dudek’s bid was about $20,000 less than the second lowest bidder.
The district will pay Dudek a not-to-exceed amount of $80,610 out of the $500,000 budgeted for the pipeline relocation project, said Barnum.
Dudek, based in Encinitas, contracts with the district to provide engineering services on an as-needed basis as the district no longer employs staff engineers.