The Morro Bay City Council awarded Carollo Engineers a $7.6 million contract to manage the controversial Water Reclamation Facility Project.
Rob Livick, director of Public Works, said the majority of the residents who attended the April 10 meeting were opposed to what council members decided.
"I would say most of the speakers were against hiring a new program manager, mainly on a cost basis," Livick said.
The $7.6 million is part of the projected $150 million cost of the project aside from the estimated $200,000 to $300,000 that will be spent on the proposed project site—near the intersection of South Bay Boulevard and Highway 1.
The California-based Carollo engineering firm specializes in planning, designing, and construction management of water and wastewater facilities for municipalities.
"Carollo Engineers will be the new program manager, and they will work with our existing technical team. Their first order of business is to work on an integration plan," Livick said.
The plan will help ensure that Carollo picks things up where the previous program manager, MKN, stopped.
The firm has worked with many cities and districts in the state; locally it provided services to the Los Osos Wastewater Treatment Plant. It aided Los Osos in the feasibility-level planning and preliminary design for its wastewater project.
"They're probably the firm in California with the most experience with indirect/direct potable reuse projects," Livick said. "I'm very excited about the opportunity to diversify the city's water portfolio and maintain water security for the community."
Carollo Engineers will manage the design-building program for the project. This method involves both engineers and contractors to create a proposal project that has a guaranteed maximum price.
"That expertise to manage that tens of millions of dollars project and stay on schedule, because that's where projects tend to go over budget. The more time you have, the more money you spend," he said.CORRECTION: This article was changed to accurately reflect the cost of the program manager overseeing the water reclamation facility.