Koontz Lake sewer project ready to go

KOONTZ LAKE — Construction of the Koontz Lake sewer system may begin yet this year, five years after the project was first proposed, according to officials working on the project.
Starke County Commissioners opened construction bids for the project and should decide soon on the winning bid. Construction could begin at any point afterwards.
At the Sept. 21 regular meeting of the Koontz Lake Regional Sewer District, the trustees received and approved the bid evaluations and recommendations from Wightman Petrie.
Bids for the collection system and treatment plant contracts came to a much lower figure than trustees had hoped for originally, according to a letter sent to county commissioners..
The contract totals will come in close to, but apparently under $8 million.
Here are the bids submitted:
• Wastewater collection system (sewer lines): Niblock Excavating, $7,043,973 Selge Construction, $5624,021; Veolia Water Technologies, $6,632,30; Rothenberger Construction, $6,795,958; Reynolds, Inc., $7,988,694; InfraSource, $7,918,387; Woodruff & Sons, Inc., $8,347,472
• Clean Water plant - the sewer processing plant: Bowen Engineering, $2,168,500; Thieneman Construction, $1,962,681; RE Crosby, $2,281,758; Hasse Construction, $2,608,900; Michiana Contracting late Grand River Construction, $2,571,691;
Almost everything else needed for the project has been completed. Design engineering has been completed. Land has been purchased for the treatment plant. Many easements have been secured. Construction is expected to take about one and a half years.
Currently, residents of the lake community depend on septic tanks for waste disposal. State and local health officials said that the small lot sizes and closeness of houses to each other make septic systems less than desirable. Supporters of the project say the sewers will raise property values and improve the local quality of life.