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Sat, July 20

Technicality sends town sewer plant contract back to start<BR>

A technicality has forced the Chino Valley Town Council to abandon more than seven months of work aimed at getting the community its own wastewater treatment plant.

In September 2002, Mike Fann Contracting Inc., and others, responded to a town "request for proposal" to build, operate and finance a water reclamation facility and wastewater collection system.

But according to state law and town code, anytime construction is involved, towns and cities must publish a "solicitation for bid." The specifications for "bids" in contrast to "proposals" are more definitive, the council said.

Attorneys for the town and other parties involved in building the sewer plant discovered the technical error last week during continuing negotiations. The Fann company recently gave the town a construction collateral agreement that the contractor had put together with various developers. Fann was waiting for the town to approve the agreement so he could break ground for the sewer plant. He had originally hoped to start building the plant in November 2002.

Now the company will start putting together separate bids for the construction and operation of the sewer plant and for plant financing.

In the meantime, developers of the Bright Star subdivision remain eager to start work on their 391-acre planned area development. Bright Star can't start building until they know when the wastewater treatment plant will be operational.

Chino Valley said it would move as fast as possible to place advertisements so the process meets legal requirements. Legal "solicitation for bid" ads for the job will appear in The Daily Courier on the last two Tuesdays of this month.

Mike Fann, as well as council members, obviously were frustrated at the legal technicality that is forcing them to start the process again after more than seven months of work.

Fann said it was "disturbing" to have start again.

"We've been moving forward in good faith and I hope we haven't wasted six months of time and money," he said.

The council told Fann that they must "make sure we have satisfied all the legal requirements."

Bright Star President Tom Arnold told council members he hoped the town could accomplish the bidding process in 20 days.

Mayor Dan Main said the town was happy with Fann's proposal, but they had to go through the correct bidding process to satisfy legal requirements.

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