During its Dec. 18 regular meeting, Tomball City Council approved two professional service agreements totaling $5.5 million related to design services for the South Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion.

The expansion is expected to begin construction in 2024 and cost $70 million in total, according to the city’s website.

In a nutshell

According to the two approved agreements:

  • Freese and Nichols Inc., an engineering, planning and consulting firm, will be paid a not-to-exceed amount of $4.93 million for the project’s design.
  • PLW Waterworks LLC, a waterworks infrastructure company, will be paid a not-to-exceed amount of $595,699 for design phase services—which entails providing a construction-manager-at-risk to assist the design process.

The South Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion is included in Tomball’s capital improvement plan, which council approved Sept. 18, Community Impact previously reported.

During its Dec. 4 meeting, council approved the issuance of $28 million in certificates of obligation—a way cities can borrow money—with $16.97 million of that money earmarked for the plant expansion, according to prior reporting.

What they’re saying

  • “During the [construction-manager-at-risk] method of delivery, you have not only your design engineer but you bring in a contractor that does these [projects], and they do the constructability, feasibility, all of those in conjunction when they’re doing the design,” City Manager David Esquivel said during the meeting.
  • “This is the most expensive capital project that we have on the board right now,” council member John Ford said during the meeting. “So to spend this kind of money just to get an opinion so that the construction [after the] design phase is correct is doubly important when you’re talking about $70 million to $80 million.”

What else?

Esquivel also said the city is looking at where they can purchase items with long lead times early.

“A lot of the electronic components [are] big lead time item[s], so if we nail down and then buy those before we [do] the whole thing, that can help with our meeting our deadlines for the schedule,” Esquivel said.

PLW Waterworks LLC will also have a chance to bid on being the firm to construct the plant expansion, Esquivel said.

“So I think that would be an advantage that if they bid on it, all of the different things that they have included in the design, they can actually perform the work themselves,” Esquivel said.

Learn more

View the Dec. 18 agenda packet below.