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Latrobe OKs $163K contracts for replacing roof, repairing storm inlet

August 24, 2018

Floodwater that overran a ditch just upstream of Latrobe’s Josephine Street on June 20, 2018, is seen from the parking lot of the Latrobe First Church of God, on Princeton Street, looking northeast toward Raymond Avenue.

Latrobe’s cost for a storm inlet repair on Josephine Street is within estimates, but the price for replacing the roof on the city municipal building doubled once the initial low bidder discovered it had miscalculated.

City council Monday awarded the storm project to Lloyd Excavating of Latrobe, whose bid of $33,978 was the lowest among three received to repair an inlet and pipe damaged during June 20 flooding in and around the Lincoln Road Shopping Plaza.

That bid is in line with what officials expected, according to city manager Wayne Jones. “We figured it would be around $35,000,” he said.

City officials have said a footbridge that washed downstream during flash flooding blocked openings of three pipes in the Josephine Street inlet while other debris collected in a fence, forming a dam. Those obstructions added to high water that rushed into the first floors of several nearby businesses and also flooded a local church and homes, according to officials.

The project calls for replacing a 15-foot section of the three side-by-side pipes, repairing one that was crushed, and installing a metal cage and grating to help keep debris from blocking the pipes during future storms.

The city will attempt to find room in its budget to cover the unexpected costs. But, Jones said, it may have to tap into its capital reserve to pay for the project. He said the city so far this year has incurred about $50,000 in flood-response costs that “we weren’t planning to spend.”

Work should begin soon on the storm improvements. “It has to be done,” Jones said.

Council on Monday also awarded a $129,400 contract to TRS Roofing, for replacing the aging roof on the municipal building. Leaks in the roof have cropped up during heavy rains, resulting in damage to ceiling tiles, public works director Michael Gray has said.

TRS was among four firms that submitted proposals in a second round of bidding on the project. Council rejected all initial bids it had sought in April after the low bidder in that round - Good Roof LLC - discovered an error in its calculations.

The bid of $59,985 “did not include an estimate for the entire building,” city solicitor Zachary Kansler explained.

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