Muffin Monster moves forward

Uinta County Commissioners Eric South and Craig Welling share a laugh at the beginning of a special meeting held on Tuesday, May 29. (HERALD PHOTO/Sheila McGuire)

EVANSTON — During a special meeting of the Uinta County Commissioners held on Wednesday, May 29, commissioners voted to approve a Notice of Award to Toncco, Inc., for the Uinta County Jail sewer upgrade project. 

The Notice of Award was listed as old business on the agenda for the May 21 regular meeting; however, after voting to move the item off the table commissioners quickly voted to place it back on the table after Uinta County Public Works Director Clay Baird indicated the amount of the award would be different than the $107,595 low bid submitted by Toncco. Baird said the county could save money by purchasing the “Muffin Monster” grinder heavy equipment directly instead of through Toncco, which would save approximately $2,500 because the county wouldn’t have to pay sales tax on the purchase. 

At the May 21 meeting, commissioner Craig Welling asked, “How can you expect us to approve the contract when that isn’t the correct amount?” When commissioners asked about moving the item to the agenda for the next regular meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, June 4, Baird said he was concerned about a potential backlog of work and indicated he would like to see the project moving forward more quickly. 

Commissioners then opted to hold the special meeting specifically to vote on the contract with the revised numbers. 

The Notice of Award approved at the special meeting then was for a contract of approximately $58,500 to Toncco, Inc., for labor, materials and equipment, other than the grinder itself and its enclosure. Commissioners also voted to authorize the purchase of the Franklin Miller Taskmaster Grinder, “The Muffin Monster,” directly from Advanced Pump and Equipment at a cost of approximately $46,750. Sales tax savings due to the direct purchase were $2,337. 

Now that the Notice of Award has been approved, the contractor will need to countersign for acceptance and then move forward with bonding requirements prior to commissioners being presented with a Notice of Agreement prior to any actual construction work being done. 

The project has been in the works for several months in order to handle a problem with large objects entering the jail sewer lines. The grinder will be able to shred large objects into pieces to prevent sewer line backup. 

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