Los Osos sewer costs escalating
April 10, 2013
The cost to construct a sewer system in Los Osos is slated to run over its $173 million budget because of pay raises, extended contracts and under estimated workloads.
On Feb. 24, San Luis Obispo County’s Public Works Director Paavo Ogren approved a 3 percent pay raise for employees of HDR Engineering. The amendment makes the pay increase retroactive to Jan. 1.
As a result of the amendment, Cal Poly interns working on the project are now paid $49.44 an hour, five of the 27 HDR Engineering employees are making over $200 an hour with the highest paid employee making $267.20 an hour.
“The total of all payments to engineer under the agreement shall not exceed the agreement amount $6,891,632,” the amendment says.
However, on the county’s website it explains that the original estimates of construction management and designer costs are for a time period shorter that then the actual construction schedule because of a large number of lateral change requests and utility line conflicts.
“The planned schedule in each engineering agreement is significantly shorter than the actual construction schedule in the approved contracts for the collection system,” according to a report by project manager John Waddell. “The scope of work for both the construction manager and designer is required to continue throughout the duration of the construction contracts.”
County staff has recommended agreement amendments for both the construction manager and designer to provide them the additional funding. The county is planning to process the agreement amendments within the next two to four months.
In addition, the area in need of road repair is running about 50 percent larger than anticipated and the cost of digging the water recycling ponds is estimated to run several million dollars over budget, the county’s website says.