ISLAMORADA -- The Village Council will convene Wednesday, March 23 to select the finalists that will compete to build and then operate an estimated $100-million-plus Islamorada sewer system.
The contract is sure to be the biggest the village will let in the foreseeable future.
On March 15, a village-appointed evaluation committee recommended three finalists out of the five firms that remain in the running for the contract.
The recommendations were based upon presentations made by those firms at meetings on March 14 and 15, as well as by the financial and technical qualifications put forward by those companies in applications submitted last month.
The committee, made up of engineering and financial consultants Tom Brzezkinski, Tony Hairston and Julia Santamaria, recommended that California-based Perc Water, conglomerate Veolia Water North America and Miami-based Inima USA be invited to submit proposals for the project.
Those proposals are to include the design of the wastewater system, as well as what the company would charge both to construct and then operate the system for 20 to 25 years.
The three-person committee recommended that the council eliminate Coral Gables-based Oderbrecht construction and Indiana-based Reynolds Inc. from the running. The Reynolds Inc. team, which includes controversial Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District General Manager Chuck Fishburn, received the lowest ranking.
Perc Water, which recently completed a new water recycling system in Santa Paula, Calif. using the design, build, operate, finance approach the village is working toward, received the highest ranking from the committee.
Perc scored 96 points out of a possible 100 based on criteria such as financial qualifications, technical expertise, construction experience, and operations and management abilities.
"We are humbled to be short-listed, let alone number one," said Perc International Business Coordinator Michael Storan. "... Going forward on the proposal stage we think we can offer the most advantageous solution."
Veolia, which has upgraded two treatment systems in the past dozen years using the design-build-operate-finance model, scored the second most points with 94.5. Inima received 88.3 points from the committee. Oderbrecht came in fourth with 85.9 points. Reynolds scored 81.3 points.
Though the committee recommended that only Perc, Veolia and Inima be invited to submit full proposals, the Village Council has the option of inviting all five companies to to the second and final phase of the procurement process.
The village has promised the state it will select the sewer contractor by Sept. 1.