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Sewer contract approved

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A key contract to build a piece of the Los Osos sewer project has been approved.

On June 19, San Luis Obispo County supervisors awarded a $26.2 million contract for two pieces of the sewer’s collection system to ARB, Inc.

The contractor was, in fact, the second lowest bidder. County officials rejected a $24 million bid from UNKS Construction, Inc., on the grounds that the company didn’t properly submit its bid documents.

Michael Budd of UNKS protested, saying the company had tried to work with county staff on some of the “irregularities” with its bid, but had communication issues at the last minute with the county.

County supervisors voted 4-1 to reject the bid from UNKS and go with ARB. Supervisor Frank Mecham, who seemed uncomfortable with some of the issues that caused UNKS to be rejected, voted no.

County staffers said re-circulating the contract for new bids would take too long and possibly cost the county millions in grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The sewer is expected to cost about $173 million. Ratepayers in Los Osos will bear the brunt of those costs, with monthly bills of $154, according to county officials.

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