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Sunday, May 3, 2015
October 7, 2012Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2012, at 3:04 PM
I met with a representative from SEMA/FEMA last week. The gentleman was in Malden to complete an accounting of the funds expended in re-conducting Malden's electrical distribution system. All of the requisite people from the City of Malden and the Malden Board of Public Works were present to assist. Two people from the BHMG firm of electrical engineers, retained to assist the BPW, attended the meeting. It is my understanding that Malden's BPW will receive somewhere between $400,000 and $600,000 in SEMA/FEMA funds to complete the federal and state reimbursement to the City of Malden for costs incurred in rebuilding our electrical system after the 2009 ice storm.
The people involved in this project at every level deserve credit for a job well done. Many individuals worked very hard in the field and in the "back office" with their intelligence, skills, and perseverance to bring this project to a successful conclusion. Following is a letter from Mr.Dean Park of BHMG addressed to Malden's City Administrator, Ted Bellers:
"Permanent repairs to the City's electric distribution system, made as a result of the 2009 ice storm, are complete. All construction work has been completed and final requests for payment have been submitted to SEMA/FEMA for payment. Contractors have all been paid. Phase IV of the work (34kv repairs) was completed by the electric department staff. During the course of the project, 71 miles of distribution and transmission lines were either repaired or replaced.
The project has been a good success in every measurable area. The work was originally expected to be completed in 16 months. Actual completion time was 21 months due to the necessity of bidding out one more phase of the work than was originally anticipated, but this produced more competitive bids and improved the quality of the work. Most gratifying is that the cost of the entire project was much below anyone's estimate. This is one instance where a recession was a positive thing.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) estimated the repair cost to be $7,000,000. BHMG's cost estimate was considerably higher. FEMA/SEMA initially contemplated that the repair project would not require any engineering design and only minimal local oversight; however, they later allowed these costs into the project.
The actual cost of construction and supporting services are as follows:
Phase I--Oilfield Electric $1,018,500.44
Phase I A--Big D Electric $249,092.23
Field engineering and construction observation, est. proportion +/-$629,336.43
Amount reimbursed by FEMA/SEMA $2,259,500.94
At the beginning of the project, FEMA estimated the total cost to be $7,000,000. BHMG estimated the betterments to be about $200,000. Based on these figures, the City's portion of cost would have been about $1,900,000. The actual cost to the City is about 30% less.
BHMG greatly appreciates the confidence and trust placed in us. All of the staff at the Board of Public Works has been extremely helpful and diligent in pursuing their responsibilities on this project, which may be the single largest construction project ever undertaken by the Board."
The scope of the project and its cost are briefly described in the above memo. We, as residents of Malden, can have some degree of peace of mind as we head into another winter that the electrical distribution network has been completely rebuilt and is entirely new for the first time in the history of our community. I agree with Mr. Park's statement beginning, "All of the staff," and express my thanks to those involved.
The next Malden City Council meeting is October 15th at 7:00 P.M. at the Malden City Hall. Please join if you can and express your opinion. We will, as always, spend your money wisely or foolishly depending on your point of view.
The financial report is as follows:
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From the desk of Mayor Ray Santie